Ross Muggleton
Ross Muggleton

Driver put woman in danger

ROSS Muggleton drove for 10km and crossed a flooded creek with a woman clinging to the bonnet of his car - and he filmed it.

The Finch Hatton man's driving was deliberately reckless and it put the safety of the woman at risk, Magistrate Mark Morrow has found.

A short three-minute video of the incident, taken by Muggleton as he drove, was seized by police as evidence.

Muggleton and his former partner, Josey Wales, were sharing access to their children and lived separately.

There was an apparent dispute over the children.

Ms Wales was walking on a dirt road, after apparently trying to visit the children at Muggleton's place, when she heard his Toyota utility come down the road.

She tried to stop the vehicle and Muggleton tried to drive around her.

"What follows is extraordinary, with Ms Wales climbing onto the bonnet of the utility and Muggleton has told her 'to get off the car'," Mr Morrow said when he convicted Muggleton of dangerous driving on Friday.

"On the (short video) recording, the vehicle appears to be stopped at this point but starts moving almost immediately thereafter.

"The recording indicates Ms Wales looks angry.

"Muggleton then drives 10km firstly on a dirt road and across a flooded creek and then on bitumen road to Finch Hatton.

"The speed was around 20kmh as the trip took 30 to 40 minutes.

"Just before crossing the creek I could hear on the recording Muggleton say, 'Cor, she's up a bit'.

"At times the recording appears to jump around suggesting the vehicle is not travelling smoothly on the road surface.

"The hood of the raincoat Ms Wales was wearing, at times is flailing around and also indicates the vehicle is not travelling particularly slowly.

"The actions of the driver, Muggleton, were deliberately reckless, with indifferent regard to the safety of Ms Wales, and thus created a real and potential danger to Ms Wales when she is clinging onto the bonnet of the utility.

"The driving is objectively dangerous, actually and potentially, the danger was that Ms Wales, in falling off, would either be injured by the fall or run over by the vehicle.

"The fact that Ms Wales suffered no injury is immaterial and so is the state of mind of Muggleton."

Mr Morrow said: "There is nothing preceding the driving by Muggleton which indicates Ms Wales was a danger to him. Ms Wales was angry, he assumed she might damage the vehicle or perhaps harm him, although there is no evidence she made threats or gestures."

The roads Muggleton drove on were: Van Houweninge Rd, Gorge Rd, Owens Creek Rd, Mackay-Eungella Rd, Zahmel St and Bagley St.

Magistrate Morrow convicted him of dangerous driving and handed down a reserved decision.

Muggleton was not in court to hear the decision and Mr Morrow said he could not sentence him in his absence.

A warrant was issued for Muggleton's arrest so he can be brought to court to be sentenced.



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