Man fleeing ‘dangerous situation’ stops at Maccas for drink
A Gatton man, who was fleeing a “life and death” situation, told officers he stopped at McDonald’s on his way to the police station because his “lips were dry”.
Evan Christopher French told the Gatton Magistrates Court that his neighbour became aggressive and threatened to kill him
He called the police and drove to the station – via McDonald’s – despite having a demerit point suspended driver’s licence.
French said he didn’t realise his licence was suspended because he had failed to change his address, and he was trying to escape his neighbour that had threatened his life.
“The reason I was driving was to escape a violent man attacking me,” French said.
“I had no choice but to leave the premises … I stopped at McDonald’s on the way to the police station because this man had tried to barricade me in and stop me from leaving.”
Police prosecutor senior constable Narelle Lowe told the court that police received information that French was driving his vehicle to the station to report an incident.
At 7.30am, he was observed driving on Eastern Drive, Gatton, and parked in front of the station.
Checks revealed French’s drivers’ licence was suspended on November 18, 2020, until March 17, 2021.
“The issue is that if he had driven from his home immediately to the police station, it might have been accepted,” senior constable Lowe said.
“But because he made that stop at McDonald’s, that would indicate he wasn’t in fear for his life.”
French said, “I was very thirsty, and my lips were dry”.
He pleaded guilty to one charge of driving without a licence demerit point suspended.
French asked if he could have amendments to his fine, as he lived in Regency Downs, and that his landlord was driving him to his place of work at Rugby Farm at 5am each morning.
Magistrate Graham Lee said calling the offence an “emergency” was weakened because French stopped at McDonald’s.
French was suspended from driving for six months.
He was convicted but not further punished.