Menace stays out of jail



MAGISTRATE Annette Hennessy labelled serial speeder Luke Gregory Lowien a "menace'' yesterday but stopped short of jailing him despite a frightening car chase through Rockhampton streets.

Lowien, who pleaded guilty in Rockhampton Magistrates Court to dangerous driving, said he had "panicked'' when police tried to pull him over after he ran a red light on Thozet Road on March 6.

Lowien, 22, who was driving his stepmother's car, accelerated away from police, reaching speeds of 90kmh as he raced down suburban streets, forcing other motorists to take evasive action.

Police watched him drive past Lakes Creek Primary School at 11.23am before losing sight of the car in heavy traffic.

A number of police cars searched the Nerimbera and Lakes Creek area before he was eventually found on a side road and arrested.

Yesterday, Lowien claimed he had slowed down as he went past schools while managing to lose police in traffic.

He also claimed to have not seen the red light before he panicked when he noticed police lights and sirens.

Ms Hennessy noted Lowien had chalked up five speeding tickets, two careless driving charges and two unlicensed driving offences in just five years.

"It seems to be you are a menace on the roads,'' she said.

''The potential (on this occasion) for injury was quite high.'' She said fortunately for him, and others, no serious accidents happened.

She sentenced him to two months jail but ordered it to be wholly suspended.

She also disqualified him from driving for 12 months.

The court heard Lowien had been training to be a security guard and expected to begin work within weeks.

His father was in court yesterday, supporting him.



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