Dangerous 'zig-zagging, tail-gating' sees cops abandon chase
A DISABLITY pensioner who tried to evade police when they spotted her car tail-gating and driving aggressively appeared before Ipswich Magistrates Court week.
Holden Commodore driver Julieanne Blacktopp, 50, began "zig-zagging" across lanes and sped away from police on the Ipswich Motorway when they switched on their emergency lights and sirens.
Police lost her but later tracked down the driver of the car, Blacktopp.
Police prosecutor Ricky Tsoi said police had been travelling east along the Ipswich Motorway at Gailes when officers saw a red Holden Commodore being driven aggressively.
It was tail-gating other vehicles and when a gap opened in traffic overtook the police car at a speed of 125km/h in a 100km/k zone.
Disability pensioner Blacktopp, 50, was fined more than $6000 after admitting to the offences.
Blacktopp (pictured), from Kippa Ring, pleaded guilty to failing to stop her motor vehicle for police on August 1, 2017; and failing to appear in court in November 2017.
Mr Tsoi said police radar recorded the car at 150km/h and saw short woman at the wheel.
It was being driven in an aggressive manner with violent weaving manoeuvres and zig-zagging across lanes.
Mr Tsoi said police abandoned pursuit of the red Commodore out of concern for public safety.
Mr Tsoi said police visited her home on August 13 and served Blacktopp with the notice of the evasion offence.
Police made a return visit to her home on September 3, 2017, when she did not respond to the offence.
"She said (then) that she did not know who was driving," Mr Tsoi said.
Blacktopp did not attend court on November 6, 2017, when the matter was listed.
Defence lawyer Matthew Fairclough said it was a late plea of guilty but Blacktopp was a disability pensioner with medical issues including sclerosis of the liver and diabetes.
He said that with no criminal history the matter justified a fine, not jail.
Mr Fairclough said Blacktopp was not charged over the alleged manner of operation of the car that day.
However, Magistrate Virginia Sturgess said it was a relevant factor because Blacktop held only a learner's licence.
Ms Sturgess said Blacktopp had only ever held a learner's licence and had been convicted in the past.
"I'm told you have medical issues but none explain why you did these offences," Ms Sturgess said.
"You failed to stop for police who saw the car being driven aggressively, tail-gating, speeding.
"Police activated lights. They say (there was) violent weaving, zig-zagging, and police abandoned pursuit.
"It is a very serious offence to evade police."
Ms Sturgess fined Blacktopp $6527.50 and disqualified her licence for two years.