Teen's laugh puts driver into a spin
A TEENAGER who was ordered to "get out of town" by a disgruntled neighbour triggered a frightening reaction when he attempted to laugh the threat off.
An Ipswich court this week heard the 16-year-old had bad blood with 50-year-old Marcus John Godby, who responded to being laughed at by spinning the wheels of his ute and braking heavily into a driveway nearby.
Godby told Ipswich Magistrates Court he had not deliberately aimed his vehicle at the teen, only meaning to intimidate the boy.
Godby, from Lowood, pleaded guilty to dangerous operation of a motor vehicle on Wednesday, February 21.
Godby, a disability pensioner with two children, partly blamed his behaviour on being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress syndrome after being discharged from the army.
He told the court he was a former member of the armed forces but had not served overseas.
Magistrate Tracy Mossop said that when a child laughed at him, Godby reacted.
"It was deplorable, immature conduct by you to a 16-year-old. But I accept there was some background context to it," Ms Mossop said.
Prosecutor Constable Emma Ross said the incident occurred at 8.57am when the Lowood teenager, in school uniform, was on a Prospect St footpath walking to school.
Godby later drove to the police station to report he had a verbal argument with a child.
Witnesses contacted police, saying the ute driver had nearly hit the teen.
Constable Ross said that when Godby saw the teen, he stopped his ute "telling him he (and his family) wasn't welcome in town and should leave".
Godby's Hilux ute lost traction on its rear wheels, leaving a 1.5m skid mark and a front wheel had mounted the kerb.
Constable Ross said two other drivers told officers they thought the ute driver "was going to hit the boy".
Ms Mossop found it was clear Godby did not intend to run the child over, but his manner of driving did cause risk to the child.
Godby was sentenced to four months' jail, suspended for 12 months. His licence was disqualified for 12 months.