Teen leaves car on railway tracks

CASINO teenager James Cotterill, accused of endangering the safety of passengers on the Brisbane Countrylink XPT train when it hit a stolen Ford Laser, has pleaded guilty to stealing and driving the car.

Police allege he abandoned the Ford on the rail tracks at the crossing near Kyogle.

Cotterill, 18, appearing at the Casino Local Court yesterday, reserved his plea to the serious charge of endangering the safety of a person on a railway at 4.20am on October 10 at Cedar Point rail crossing.

However, he pleaded guilty before Magistrate R Denes to stealing and driving the blue Ford Laser without the consent of its owner, Dennis Jerrard, at 2.30am on October 10.

He also pleaded guilty through defence lawyer Hugh Norris to a charge of being an unlicensed driver at 2.30am on the same day.

Cotterill also faces a new charge of police pursuit.

He is alleged to have driven a motor vehicle when he ought to have known police officers were in pursuit of the vehicle and when required to stop did not stop.

Mr Norris said with regard to the charge of endangering the safety of train passengers there were still some issues needing to be discussed with his client and police. Cotterill would like the opportunity to be listened to, he said.

Mr Norris applied for and received a bail variation for his client with regard to a change in his residential address and police reporting conditions. Since the incident Cotterill had gone to live with a relative in Sydney.

Magistrate Denes adjourned the matter to December, with Cotterill to report to police atRevesby. As part of his bail conditions the teenager must abs-tain from drinking alcohol and be home between the hours of 9pm and 6am.

A youth aged 16 from Tabulam is also charged over the incident and will appear before the Children’s Court.

When the XPT train, en route to Brisbane, hit the Ford on the crossing at 4.20am police said the impact caused the car to be thrown 25 metres.

No train passengers were injured, but damage to the XPT locomotive meant passengers had been transferred on to buses for Brisbane.

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