Dangerous driver’s unusual history ‘looms large’
MYSTERY surrounds some of the actions of an unlicensed driver who caused a potentially dangerous situation for a motorcycle police officer during a pursuit.
No police facts were stated on the public record by the prosecutor when the matter went before an open court in Ipswich.
The offences took place just one day before an existing suspended jail term ended for Zackery Bucknall.
Magistrate Andy Cridland was also silent on the precise facts on the dangerous driving when he finalised the case.
As such the Queensland Times (unless it pays money to the court to buy the agreed facts) cannot tell you exactly what took place despite the offences occurring out in the community on public roads.
Zackery Norman Bucknall, 35, from Karrabin, pleaded guilty to eight charges including dangerous operation of a motor vehicle; failing to stop for police; unlawful use of a stolen car; receiving tainted property; and driving a motor vehicle when unlicensed and uninsured.
No details of where crimes occurred or where the car was stolen from were given.
Instead, the Ipswich court heard of Bucknall‘s unusual history of using stolen motor vehicles including a farm tractor and a skid-steer loader.
It was left to defence lawyer Michael Kelly to give some details of what took place in the police pursuit of his client.
“It says (in the written facts of the case) that an officer was discharged from the motorbike seat,” Mr Kelly said.
“That does not mean he fell off.
“He was moved but did not come off the motorbike seat.”
After further scrutiny of the written facts Mr Kelly said the document states “almost causing him to be dislodged”.
“You read the facts. What really looms large here is his criminal history,” Prosecutor Sergeant Nicholas Turnbull said.
“He was on a suspended sentence for a drug charge and unlawful use of a motor vehicle. That sentence (was later) extended by one month to June 15, 2020. The offence date is June 14,” he said.
Mr Kelly said Bucknall was a former abattoir worker and rigger who in the 10 months since the offences had kept his head down.
“He is very much a functioning alcoholic,” he said.
His use of painkillers for injuries suffered in a road accident in 2015 had also caused him health issues.
Mr Kelly said the use of the stolen vehicle involved people giving Bucknall a stolen fuel card and getting Bucknall to drive the car out into bush where he crashed it.
“With regard to the dangerous driving all I can say is that it was more of a danger to Mr Bucknall himself than to the police officer,” Mr Kelly said.
Mr Kelly said Bucknall’s history included driving when intoxicated at Fernvale with police finding him on a tractor stolen from a nearby farm.
His 2018 conviction for an unlawful use was for using a skid-steer earth mover that had been stolen by someone else.
Mr Cridland said he had taken into account the written facts before the court.
“It appears the police were attracted to the sounds of loud revving and skidding on a roadway,” Mr Cridland said.
“You were not charged with evasion. What was heard was consistent with a burnout and then it ended in the dangerous operation.”
Mr Cridland said Bucknall had been involved in a very serious accident and suffered significant injuries, “so you are well aware of what can occur when acting in this way”.
He imposed an overall two-year jail term with immediate parole. This included 12-months for dangerous operation and the 12-months from an earlier suspended sentence.
Bucknall was fined $500 for driving unlicensed. His licence was disqualified for a total of 12 months.