Defendant gives judge the finger

A DRIVER who exhibited “road rage” behaviour towards a magistrate and her clerk has lost his licence after facing Maryborough Magistrates Court.

Aldershot resident Paul Karl Langhans gave the finger to the wrong person on February 19.

He was driving northbound on the Bruce Highway, just south of Gympie, when the driver ahead slowed down to comply with the reduced speed limit.

Langhans didn't know the driver of that car was a Gympie magistrate who was returning with her clerk from the Noosa Courthouse. The magistrate told police Langhans tailgated her at a dangerously close distance of two to three metres.

He could be seen making rude gestures with his middle finger as he drove behind the pair.

When the road divided into two north-bound lanes, Langhans overtook and moved ahead of the magistrate's vehicle then braked suddenly.

The magistrate had to brake heavily to avoid crashing into Langhans.

Langhans was charged with driving without due care and attention. He initially told police he braked heavily because he saw a brown dog on the side of the road.

Langhans told the court he was being followed by a semi-trailer and that is why he was driving close to the car ahead.

But acting magistrate Neil Lavaring dismissed Langhan's excuses.

“It appears this was a case of road rage because the vehicle in front was going a bit slow for your liking,” Mr Lavaring said.

“You have put other road users in danger.”

Langhans was fined $400 and disqualified from driving for three months.

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