News

Repeat drink-driver's park antics punished

Brenda Strong

A MOTORIST who ripped up a Junction Hill oval by doing 'donuts' and 'burnouts' has been sentenced after being found guilty of a third drink-driving offence in five years.

Grafton man Murray Ottaway appeared in Grafton Local Court this week charged with high range drink-driving following the incident on July 30.

According to police facts, the 24-year-old labourer had been drinking with friends in Junction Hill when he got behind the wheel of a white ute.

With two friends in the car, he drove over a wooden post barrier at Barnier Park, tearing the post out of the ground and causing damage to his vehicle in the process.

He then proceeded to drive erratically across the park grounds, causing extensive damage which made the field unusable for sporting events.

Members of the public witnessed the event and called police before following Ottaway's vehicle when he drove off, relaying their location to officers.

Police intercepted the car at the end of the lane, on the border of Carrs Creek, where they observed that the driver was slurring his words and giggling about the matter.

Police said Ottaway twice refused a breath test at the scene and when they went to arrest him he began to argue.

They said attempts to handcuff him also proved difficult as he began swinging his arms at them, prompting police to use capsicum spray.

At the Grafton police station, Ottaway supplied a blood alcohol test reading of 0.179, more than three times the limit.

In court, it was revealed the incident was Ottaway's third drink-driving offence in five years.

When defence solicitor Greg Coombes highlighted Ottaway was just 24-years-old, Magistrate Robyn Denes interjected that if he continued on the same path he wouldn't make it to 25.

"I talk about statistics to a lot of people in here but you are that person who, if you don't kill yourself, is going to kill someone else," she said.

Ottaway was convicted and placed on a good behaviour bond. He was also disqualified from driving for 12 months.

He was also ordered to pay $1000 fine for criminal damage and will be subjected to an interlock device for 48 months.

Topics:  barnier park drink-driving grafton local court junction hill



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