Home-made tricycle reign of terror ends in court

WHAT started off as a lark riding modified tricycles around Gympie's CBD ended in Gympie Magistrates Court yesterday for a group of teens.

John Phillip Hedges, Nathaniel Beau Baxter-Jones and Sherrif Esquivel, all 17, with Corey Charles Russell Mayfield, 18, appeared charged with the dangerous operation of a vehicle.

What on the surface appeared to Magistrate Maxine Baldwin a case of "boys being boys" was far more serious upon "hearing the extent of what happened".

The court heard on November 8 in Gympie, complaints were received from the public about teenagers on home-made three-wheeled vehicles.

Police intercepted the four and warned them to stop their activities but they all ignored the advice. They were cautioned again by police after an off-duty police officer witnessed a near head-on collision.

Police at the scene found one of the four with a GoPro camera, attached to his head and recording.

The device's memory card was seized and police reviewed the footage, revealing a string of near-misses and dangerous activities.

The prosecution told the court the four endangered themselves and the public and didn't realise the seriousness of their actions.

The footage showed numerous near-misses with vehicles and a narrow escape with a blue Toyota Camry driven by a 63-year-old man left shaken after the incident.

The teens' defence lawyer said the drift bikes were part of a new recreational activity and what happened was more about "potentials than actuals".

The lawyer said hazardous activities were part of the "male growth curve" and it was a case of misguided fun without alcohol, drugs or violence.

Magistrate Baldwin said the wild antics were more than boys being boys and noted the multiple warnings issued by police.

The four teens pleaded guilty and were placed on $600 good behaviour bonds for six months with no conviction recorded. The tricycles were forfeited and the four ordered to attend a safe-driver program.

Gympie Times


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