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DANDENONG

Tuesday, 3 September, 2019

Park of the people

Red Roos take off

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Jack’s on the right path

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Fence fresco Students from Wallarano Primary School's Art Academy have given more than a good lick of paint to a neighbouring kindergarten. The 22 students, including Elwin and Elena, pictured, livened up a boring steel fence at Good Start Learning Centre with their stunning hand-painted mural. 196974 Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS

Attack of speed By Cam Lucadou-Wells An 87-year-old military-tank enthusiast in a Ford GT sports car has blazed through a Princes Highway amber light at 125 km/h, a court has heard. John Belfield, the owner of Melbourne Tank Museum in Narre Warren North, was once dubbed as 'Australia's oldest hoon' a decade ago. On this occasion, a speed camera at the South Gippsland Highway intersection snapped the east-bound car at 45 km/h over the speed limit just after 10am on a Sunday last September.

His lawyer told the Dandenong Magistrates' Court on 27 August that Belfield was not "hooning". On Belfield's way home from a Dandenong trash-and-treasure market, he had just given the car a "squirt" as the lights turned amber, the lawyer said. He'd been surprised by the power of what was his first-ever brand-new car, bought after his wife had died a year earlier, the lawyer said. "He put his foot down, gave it a squirt and that particular car and engine goes from 80 to 120 (km/h) in 2.2 seconds," the lawyer said.

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"Within five seconds he's exceeded the speed limit by 45 km/h." Magistrate Jack Vandersteen said that two seconds would have been "ample time" to stop the car at the lights. "Rather than stopping, he gave it a squirt." Mr Vandersteen rated Belfield's risk of returning to court as low, though noting "I'm surprised by the type of car that you're driving in the circumstances". He took into account Belfield's "significant costs" to subpoena traffic-camera photos to support his case.

Belfield was convicted and fined $750, on top of a 12-month driving disqualification. According to his lawyer, Belfield - isolated from public transport or even footpaths - had bought himself a mobility scooter for his disqualification period. Belfield had not been charged since 2009 when his Nissan Pulsar was detected at 170 km/h in Warragul. The car was impounded on that occasion. Belfield was regarded as Australia's oldest hoon and branded by then-Premier John Brumby as an "idiot".

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Dandenong Star Journal - 03rd September 2019  

Dandenong Star Journal - 03rd September 2019