Motorcyclist hit with hefty fine but avoids jail
A YOUNG father has avoided spending 50 days behind bars after he sped off when police tried to pull him over - instead he was hit with a $6672 fine.
The 21 year old panicked as he was riding his 2014 Harley Davidson FXBB without a licence - in fact he had never held a bike licence.
But the more serious offence was evading police, which has minimum mandatory penalties that include a jail term with actual custody.
Magistrate Bronwyn Hartigan said this sent "a message to the community that running away from police won't be tolerated".
Mackay Tactical Crime Squad officers had been patrolling Andergrove when they spotted a rider travelling at excessive speed through traffic lights on Bedford Rd on September 11 this year.
When they tried to intercept on Oak St, the motorbike sped off, overtaking a number of vehicles, but not before officers noted its registration number.
Checks led police to the home of Alec Jay Bailey Wingate, who was not home but later handed himself in.
"(He) told police that he panicked when he saw police were trying to intercept him," prosecutor David Epstein told Mackay Magistrates Court.
He pleaded guilty to unlicensed driving and evasion, which has a minimum mandatory fine or 50 days jail to be served in custody or a $6672.50 fine. The maximum penalty is three years jail or a $26,690 fine.
Defence solicitor Steven Hayles, of Macrossan and Amiet said his client was the sole provider for his partner and their two children, one of who has special needs.
Although Wingate had a "poor" traffic history, Mr Hayles said his client had no criminal history and argued he "has offended in an uncharacteristic way".
"He's panicked by not having a motorbike licence and rather than pulling over and facing the music for riding a bike without a licence and being liable to a fine and six months disqualification, he'd exacerbated his problem," Mr Hayles said.
"It really was a bonehead decision by him to ride off."
Mr Hayles said his client had also pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity, pushing for the minimum mandatory fine over the custodial sentence.
Ms Hartigan said because of the mandatory penalties Wingate's case "rises and falls on the mitigating factors to the court to avoid going to jail".
In light of Mr Hayles's submission, Ms Hartigan found "it would be catastrophic for you to go to jail for 50 days."
Wingate was fined a total of $7122.50 for both offences and disqualified from driving for at least two years. Convictions were recorded.