Drink-driver busted with mate standing on car roof
TWO young men have been labelled "idiots" by a Supreme Court Justice after the offender drunkenly decided to drive along Gunn Point beach with his mate standing on the roof.
Jack Hannaford, 20, appeared in the Darwin Supreme Court on Thursday where he pleaded guilty to one count of dangerous driving causing serious harm.
The court heard Hannaford and his victim - a friend of his - were camping at Gunn Point beach in October last year when they drunkenly decided to go "drift driving" in the middle of the night.
Hannaford then stopped the vehicle and allowed the victim to stand on the roof while he continued driving at speed.
He then lost control of the car, sending his mate flying off the roof and leaving him with two major fractures to his ankle.
Police and paramedics attended the scene and transported the victim to the Royal Darwin Hospital and then on to Brisbane for treatment.
According to the statement of agreed facts tendered in court, when police asked Hannaford why he was driving drunk he simply replied: "No".
He refused to participate in a police interview and was taken to Palmerston Police Station where he returned a blood alcohol reading of 0.08.
Hannaford's lawyer Matt Hubber told the court his client was of prior good character.
"It was an isolated incident. It can and should be treated as an aberration," he said.
"He behaved foolishly and that resulted in tragic events for his good friend and he has to live with that for the rest of his life. Perhaps, Your Honour, that is punishment enough."
The court heard the victim was still completing rehabilitation for his injuries but he and the offender remained friends.
Mr Hubber said the victim indicated that he shared some of the responsibility for the incident.
Justice Stephen Southwood said it was "a classic case of young men behaving like idiots".
"They obviously know that they were being heroes, and then things went astray," he said.
Hannaford was given a $150 levy and placed on a 12-month good behaviour bond.
No conviction was recorded.
Originally published as Man sentenced for drink driving with mate standing on car roof