Tuesday, 1 October, 2019
Top cats feline good
Mayor on the march
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Beat of own drums Gauri (Kambrya College), Alanna (Dandenong High) and Jeremiah (Dandenong High) learnt rap and DJ skills with music-industry professionals as part of an On Track workshop series in Dandenong. More details, turn to page 12.
Picture: GARY SISSONS
Driver jail appeal A 23-year-old concrete pumper is appealing against a jail term for a “hair-raising” police pursuit in which he blindly turned into a redlight T-intersection off Eastlink. Hamish Cartwright, 23, sobbed after magistrate Rodney Crisp delivered the six-month sentence in Dandenong Magistrates’ Court on 24 September. His driving offences had led to his Hampton Park mother’s Subaru being impounded twice this year. His mother was forced to plead to the court to ward off a further impoundment. Cartwright pleaded guilty to dangerous driving while pursued by police on 25 January. On 25 January, he was spotted by police as he illegally turned right from a middle lane in the Subaru. As police signalled for him to pull over,
he continued driving at normal speed on the Dandenong Bypass until he sped away onto an Eastlink on-ramp. Cartwright drove south, slowing down at a traffic island and then accelerating at a “fast rate” up the tollway’s off-ramp at Greens Road, Dandenong South. Police said he sharply cornered left through a red light at the end of the ramp, narrowly missing an eastbound car travelling 80km/h on Greens Road. Police told the court that Cartwright’s blind corner was a “gamble” during a medium-high traffic period. He was later arrested by appointment at Dandenong police station, giving an “evasive” and “unco-operative” interview. At the time, Cartwright was on a good behaviour bond for a reckless conduct endanger-
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ing serious injury charge. He also pleaded guilty to charges of speeding, driving while using a mobile phone, drugdriving (cannabis) and drink-driving (at .10) in Pakenham on 26 April. Cartwright’s lawyer argued for a community corrections order with drug counselling and driver behaviour programs. Cartwright, with a relevant but “very limited” criminal history, had made a “poor decision”. Jail was a sentence of last resort, particularly for a “youthful” offender with “fantastic” support from family and his employer, the lawyer said. Mr Crisp mused that many young offenders were imprisoned after causing deaths on the road. But it was illogical for courts to wait for someone to die, Mr Crisp said.
“The community is entitled to the protection of imprisonment.” Mr Crisp was not swayed by Cartwright’s alleged support structures. “It was fairly obvious that the least support would be to deny the accused the use of a car.” Cartwright’s “uniquely serious” driving could have killed or seriously injured another “hapless driver” during the “hair-raising” pursuit. “Prison is a last resort sentence but this is a case in which the last resort is called for.” Cartwright was also disqualified from driving for four years. After being taken into custody, he lodged an appeal to the County Court of Victoria. He was then bailed on conditions of a night curfew, reporting to police thrice a week and not driving a vehicle.
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