Fined after fleeing police

A MAN who panicked unnecessarily and ran when stopped by police appeared in Gladstone Magistrates Court on Thursday for obstructing a police officer and drink driving.

Fredrick Anthony Learmonth pleaded guilty to the offences.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Troy Daubaras said police intercepted Learmonth around midnight on August 14 on Breslin Street. Police saw the defendant on the Dawson Highway, speeding through a roundabout.

When they pulled him over on Breslin Street, he ran and was caught and handcuffed a short distance away. He told police he ran because he was on a suspended sentence. He had a blood alcohol level of 0.06 per cent.

Magistrate Damian Carroll told Learmonth he panicked unnecessarily because his suspended sentence was no longer current.

He was fined $450 or six days jail and disqualified for one month.

Meanwhile, Learmonth also appeared in the Gladstone District Court on Friday for a breach of his bail conditions. He pleaded guilty.

Crown Prosecutor Shaun Gordon said the defendant was sentenced on January 29, 2008 to two-and-a-half years prison, suspended for 30 months after serving six months. The original offence involved Learmonth setting fire to a car at the marina so he could watch a bonfire.

On May 20 this year, Learmonth was convicted for possession of dangerous drugs from an offence on April 4 outside a nightclub which breached his bail conditions. Learmonth was ordered to move on but refused and swore at police and was arrested.

During a pat-down search police found one gram of cannabis in his possession.

He was ordered to undergo drug diversion and placed on a good behaviour bond for four months.

This breach occurred 27 months into his 30 month suspended sentence. Defence solicitor Stacey O’Gorman said her client was a fisherman. Judge Tutt said he was given a very lenient sentence for the arson in 2008.

“It would be unjust to activate your suspended sentence over such a trivial offence,” Judge Tutt said. “If you appear before the court for another breach you will not be treated as leniently.”

Learmonth’s suspended sentence period was extended for another 12 months.

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