Magistrate giving lessons on common sense

WARWICK Magistrate Bevan Manthey found himself handing out lessons in basic common sense after a string of "stupid" offenders fronted him in court.

An Allora teenager was fortunate not to cause a fatal accident after pulling on the handbrake of a moving car his girlfriend was driving.

Zane James Fitzgerald pleaded guilty to the dangerous operation of a motor vehicle after causing the car to do "a huge 360".

The court heard the 17-year-old youth was passenger in the car, and pulled up the handbrake as his girlfriend drove from a dirt road onto a tarmac stretch.

His girlfriend attended court with him.

Fitzgerald's lawyer Clare Hine said the action was completely unprovoked.

"He doesn't really know what he was doing," she said.

Mr Manthey fined the teenager $600 and disqualified him from driving for six months.

"Fortunately for him, there weren't any more serious implications from his stupidity," Mr Manthey said.

"You can't put brains in garden gnomes."

Moments later, a Warwick man was forced to explain to Mr Manthey why he got behind the wheel with a blood alcohol level of 0.162.

Steven John Magro told the court he was drink driving because of the stress caused from his recent split from his wife.

"I've been getting good and getting off the alcohol," he said.

The 42-year-old was pulled over on Albion St at 8pm on November 25, and made full admissions to being drunk.

Mr Manthey fined Magro $1000 and ordered he stay of the roads for nine months.

"Whatever you do, get rid of the bloody car," Mr Manthey said.

"If you get caught again, there's enough ammo (in your criminal history) to send you to jail."



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