High sentence for high speed

May 11, 2018

A young man who was caught driving 69km/h above the speed limit has been made an example of in court.

The 22-year-old was sentenced to two months behind bars by a magistrate on Wednesday.

Shepparton’s Rhys Pickard appeared in Echuca Magistrates’ Court to plead guilty to driving in a dangerous manner.

He sat in court with a blank face as he was placed in custody.

The court heard Pickard was caught driving east on Winter Rd, Girgarre, on December 12 last year.

‘‘At around 6.40am, police detected a vehicle driving at a fast rate of speed,’’ police prosecutor Sergeant Mark Snell said.

‘‘The alleged speed was 169km/h. The road was a 100km/h zone and is a major road.

‘‘The accused was intercepted by police and said he was running late for work after leaving his girlfriend’s house.’’

Defence solicitor Russell Kelly said his client faced a very serious matter.

‘‘The police were parked on the side of the road and Mr Pickard went flying by,’’ he said.

‘‘He has a prior in his history where he lost his licence for 18 months and the reason he didn’t lose his job then was because he was an apprentice and could go with a fully qualified plumber to jobs.

‘‘Now he is fully qualified and goes to the majority of jobs by himself, so needs his licence.

‘‘Coming to court today he has lost his job.’’

Mr Kelly said Pickard’s only saving grace was no-one was injured in this incident.

His prior conviction saw a friend of his seriously injured after falling off the back of his ute.

Pickard was then given a community corrections order.

But Magistrate Andrew McKenna said what he got for that offence was lenient.

‘‘Perhaps he needs some more concentrated reflection time,’’ he said.

Mr Kelly made submissions that his client had now learned his lesson.

‘‘It would do more harm than good if this young man was put in jail,’’ he said.

Mr McKenna had Pickard assessed for a community corrections order but said he wasn’t convinced it was enough of a punishment.

‘‘I see no way to justice but to place you in prison,’’ he said.

Pickard was sentenced to two months in prison followed by a nine-month CCO including 80 hours of community work.

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