$950 for failing to stop

A BARRISTER labelled a police chase of a motorcyclist who failed to stop as “the slowest police pursuit in history” in Gladstone Magistrates Court last week.

Hayden Eslick was charged with failure to stop and failure to comply with a requirement to stop at an RBT station set up on the outskirts of Boyne Island.

He pleaded guilty to both charges.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Brad Reynolds told the court the defendant had been motioned to pull over by a police officer on the evening of March 17.

“He rode between the officer and a vehicle and said ‘Sorry, mate’ before continuing on without stopping,” Snr Constable Reynolds said.

Police then got in a car and pursued Eslick, but were unable to catch him.

Officers went to the Boyne Smelter in the coming days to talk to the defendant, who admitted he’d failed to stop and gave a reason for not obeying the directive.

“He’d had a s*** of day, and told them he was sick of being pulled over by police,” Snr Const Reynolds said.

“He told police he was unaware they were following him.”

Barrister David Murray told the court his client had no idea officers were pursuing him and immediately scoffed at the suggestion police were in a hurry to catch the defendant, given the nature of the chase.

“This has to go down in the record books as the slowest police pursuit in history,” he said.

Mr Murray said officers statements showed they were travelling at speeds of “up to 80kmh” and his client had not been charged with speeding.

“This was not a case of purposefully evading police as is often the case when someone is being pursued,” Mr Murray said.

Mr Murray said in relation to the failure to stop, his client said there was no bay for him to pull into, as he had been motioned to pull in after the last police car.

“He realises there is no marked bay and there was nowhere for him to stop, which led him to say ‘Sorry, mate’,” Mr Murray told the court.

“He accepts he was told to stop.”

Mr Murray said the police didn’t consider it to be a serious matter, and when they questioned the defendant at his workplace, he was co-operative and had not shown “contumelious disregard” with his actions.

“Every time he goes out on his motorbike, he is pulled over and has stated he is sick of it,” Mr Murray said.

The court heard Eslick had no traffic history.

Magistrate Damian Carroll said breath-testing was a necessary component of law enforcement in an attempt to decrease the road toll, as well as remove dangerous drivers from the road.

Eslick was fined $950 and disqualified from driving for one month.

“When police direct you to pull over, their direction must be followed,” Mr Carroll said.

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