Bubble gum fraudster hoon's crash costs $32K
A DRIVER'S hoonish antics led to a slide on a wet road that sent his Holden ploughing into a Safe City camera pole that came crashing down, causing $32,000 damage.
The Ipswich driver then left the scene of his crash mess with the rego plates - his damaged car still straddling the crunched pole.
But adding salt to the wounded driver's ego, an Ipswich court has ordered the driver Dean Leatherby to pay the big damages bill.
Witnesses told police they heard the engine of the red Holden Commodore revving loudly at traffic lights before the crash.
In Ipswich Magistrates Court, driver Dean Andrew Leatherby, 30, from Leichhardt, pleaded guilty to two counts of drink driving; failing to comply with his duties as a driver involved in a crash; dangerous operation of a motor vehicle; breaching bail conditions; receiving tainted property; and six counts of fraud.
One fraud involved bubble gum.
Prosecutor, Acting Sergeant Courtney Boss said there were eight pages of police facts about his offences and Leatherby had history for like offences.
In facts put by Sgt Boss the dangerous operation offence took place in Ipswich at the intersection of Old Toowoomba Road and Lobb St at 8.50pm on Wednesday, March 27.
Witnesses told police they saw the red Commodore stopped at traffic lights, its engine loudly revving.
The rear tyres spun and the driver merged in front of their car tyres still spinning before Leatherby lost control, the Commodore going side to side before smashing into the Ipswich Safe City camera pole.
The Commodore ended up on top of the fallen pole next to the footpath.
The roads were wet from rain.
Sgt Boss said the damaged camera pole cost $32,503.54 to replace.
Leatherby was seen to take the registration plates off the crashed car, then run off.
Police finally caught up with him for a chat, Leatherby saying that he'd "really f-ed up".
Leatherby had a drink driving offence two weeks earlier, with an alcohol reading of 0.108.
After the crash he had an alcohol reading of 0.10, twice the legal limit.
In unrelated offences he used bank and credit cards that someone unknown had stolen from parked cars.
The cards then came into his possession which Leatherby used to buy goods, fuel, and bubble gum.
The frauds had values of $64.29, $50, $90.15, $47.80, $20, the bubble gum worth $6.26.
Defence lawyer Mathew Fairclough said Leatherby, a dad of one child, has been doing a therapy program
He said paying the $32,503 restitution was relevant - "it is in itself a substantial consequence brought about by the virtue of his stupidity".
Magistrate Donna MacCallum noted what Leatherby told police that he'd totally messed up.
She said his driving potentially put at risk the lives of other people.
She ordered that he pay the Ipswich City Council (through a SPER payment plan) the $32,503.54.
Leatherby was sentenced to eight months jail, suspended for 18 months and received a supervised 18-month probation order.
His licence was disqualified for 12 months.
Ms MacCallum strongly warned Leatherby that if he came before the court on driving related offences the jail sentence would likely be activated.