Traffic hoon James Richardson leaves court yesterday after being convicted of street racing, failing to stop and three counts of drink-driving.
Traffic hoon James Richardson leaves court yesterday after being convicted of street racing, failing to stop and three counts of drink-driving.

James Richardson is a menace

A SERIAL hoon picked up for street racing and driving the wrong way down one of Hervey Bay’s main roads has been put on probation.

Police said James Murray Richardson could have killed someone when he sped along Boat Harbour Drive while racing another car, lost control and drove into the oncoming lane about 11.20pm on Sunday.

He was also over the legal alcohol limit, returning a reading of .096 per cent.

Richardson appeared in court in Hervey Bay yesterday, where his actions were slammed by magistrate Tom Killeen as “most appalling and inappropriate”.

But Mr Killeen went on to sentence the 23-year-old to just 18 months probation and ordered that his licence be disqualified for two years.

It is understood Richardson’s silver Holden Commodore sedan reached up to 100kmh. The vehicle was seized by police and impounded for 48 hours following the incident.

He pleaded guilty to six charges, including three counts of drink-driving, racing and failing to stop, after he spent Sunday night in the police watch-house.

Prosecutor Jeanette Grigoris said Richardson had showed little remorse and when asked by police why he had been racing, he said he “just felt like it”.

Richardson did not know the teenage driver of the second car, the court was told, and had impulsively decided to race him after being overtaken by the white Commodore wagon.

Senior Constable Grigoris described Richardson’s traffic history as “poor” and said it included convictions for hooning offences including making unnecessary noise while driving and driving without due care.

The court also heard that Richardson was picked up for drink-driving on November 19 and December 13 of last year, when he returned readings of .088 and .108.

On Sunday night, police were patrolling Pialba when they heard the sound of a vehicle engine revving loudly, Snr Const. Grigoris said.

They saw the two cars racing near the Picnic Street intersection before Richardson lost control and crashed into the roundabout gutter at high speed.

His vehicle was damaged but he continued down Boat Harbour Drive on the wrong side of the road, in a bid to evade police, until he reached Nissen Street, where he was intercepted.

“He is a danger to the public,” Snr Const. Grigoris said.

Mr Killeen said Richardson had done “everything wrong” in a short period of time.

Added to the probation, he fined Richardson $500 for street racing and $300 for failing to stop.

The driver of the other vehicle is due to appear in court next month.



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