Teenager caught doing 205km/h
A P-PLATER clocked driving at 205km/h has narrowly escaped a prison term.
Instead Jacob Thomas Bacon, 17, was disqualified from driving for three years and put on a two-year good behaviour bond.
Bacon appeared in Tweed Heads Local Court yesterday charged with reckless driving at a speed dangerous to the public after police caught him on September 3 travelling at more than 100km/h over the speed limit on the Pacific Hwy at Cudgera Creek with a car full of teenage passengers.
The court heard when police stopped the 1995 Nissan Bluebird the front tyres were almost bald and the passengers seemed to think the incident was a big joke, texting madly on their mobile phones.
When police asked Bacon why he was speeding, he replied: "I just wanted to see how fast it would go."
His provisional licence had been issued just four months earlier.
Police said had a front tyre blown at that speed the consequences would have been catastrophic. Further, they said Bacon was aware of the car's poor condition.
The defence admitted Bacon had shown a complete disregard for the safety of himself, his passengers and other road users but reminded the court his client had no prior offences.
References were submitted to the court stating the incident was completely out of character and as a professional BMX rider he was always adamant about safety, forcing other riders to wear helmets.
Magistrate Michael Dakin had to catch his breath after reading the police statements before the court.
He said one of the main reasons for imposing tough sentences on young drivers was to send a message to the public that these offences attract harsh penalties.
However he declined to impose the maximum nine-month prison sentence on the basis Bacon was only 17 years old and had a clean record.
He then disqualified Bacon's licence for three years, imposed a two-year good-behaviour bond and issued the teenager a stern warning.
"You're a young man, so take advantage of the reha- bilitation that is offered to you because if you appear in here again, whether you are 17 or not, you can expect to go to prison," Magistrate Dakin said.
Outside the court Bacon refused to comment, however a man, thought to be his father, said he believed the youth had learnt his lesson.
"If you appear in here again whether you are 17 or not you can expect to go to prison."