Artist cops huge fine for driving defective car on Glenlyon
A GLADSTONE man told a magistrate he was "discriminated” against when police officers pulled him over for driving a defective vehicle.
Brett Andrew Hartshorn pleaded guilty in Gladstone Magistrates Court on Tuesday to three charges: driving without a licence repeat offender, driving a safe but otherwise defective vehicle and driving an unregistered vehicle.
In court Hartshorn told Magistrate Dennis Kinsella he felt targeted because of his Indigenous culture.
But prosecutor Merilyn Hoskins said police noticed one tyre of the car was "almost completely devoid of tread”.
Officers also did checks of the vehicle and discovered it was unregistered.
On top of this, Hartshorn did not have a licence.
Hartshorn, 51, did not have a lawyer and said that on the day of offending, July 24, he was a passenger in the car and his partner was driving.
Hartshorn said his partner accidentally drove up onto the kerb while driving on Glenlyon Rd.
The woman feared the car steering was pulling to the left so Hartshorn offered to drive the vehicle home, which he said was right across the road.
It was then, after Hartshorn decided to drive, that he was pulled over by police.
"I felt I was discriminated against,” Hartshorn said.
Hartshorn told Mr Kinsella the car had since been "squashed”.
The court was told Hartshorn had started his own business creating Indigenous Dreamtime art and was also helping to teach the culture.
Mr Kinsella commended Hartshorn for his involvement in the community.
He also told Hartshorn that "any form of racial vilification” was condemned.
"Needless to say, that type of behaviour, if it occurred, is not right.
"You have the sympathy of the court.”
Mr Kinsella noted Hartshorn had a history and told the man if he wanted to set a good example in the community Hartshorn needed to "get his act together”.
Mr Kinsella imposed a $784 fine and disqualified Hartshorn from driving for one month.