Speeding, dangerous drink-driver veers into cyclist

SENTENCED: Brett Bayldon outside court.
SENTENCED: Brett Bayldon outside court. Ross Irby

A CYCLIST had to jump off his bike in fear for his safety when driver Brett Bayldon dangerously sped through a stop sign and veered towards him.

Drink-driving behind the wheel of his Holden Commodore, Bayldon drove over the bicycle, buckling its back wheel.

The quick-reacting cyclist was not struck.

Bundaberg magistrate Belinda Merrin and police accepted Bayldon's act "was not deliberate" but a consequence of his dangerous manner of driving, and the car was not used as a weapon.

At the time, Bayldon had been driving up and down streets and through stop signs in suburban Norville looking for his girlfriend.

Brett Ingliss Bayldon, 26, pleaded guilty to one count of dangerous driving at 9.25pm on Saturday, March 25, and driving with an alcohol reading of 0.109.

He was sentenced to 15months imprisonment but narrowly avoided doing any actual time.

In his defence submission, lawyer Matt Messenger said Bayldon has depression and what he did was "not a deliberate, vengeful or premeditated act".

Police prosecution and the court accepted that.

"It was not a deliberate act to aim (at the cyclist). It was a consequence of his actions. The person felt fear and jumped off his bicycle," prosecutor Sergeant Dean Burgess said.

Sgt Burgess told the court Bayldon and his girlfriend were at a sports club when she walked away and he went looking for her in his vehicle.

Bayldon drove around Maynard, Kensington and Brown Sts, his tyres heard screeching at speed.

He had driven through stop signs at intersections, performed U-turns, and at speed cut across a lane and on to the right-hand side of a road towards a cyclist, who for safety had jumped.

Sgt Burgess said residents report the motorist was travelling at speed.

When police pulled over Bayldon in Maynard St, the car smelt of rubber and a rear tyre felt hot.

When breath tested, Bayldon registered an alcohol reading of 0.109.

Sgt Burgess said Bayldon had been a danger to other road users that night and to the cyclist.

He added that nearby residents, upon hearing the noise, had called police.

Magistrate Belinda Merrin said on the day after the offending, Bayldon was before the court for an offence of drink driving with a reading of 0.135.

Ms Merrin said it was his third drink driving offence in five years.

"Just because someone has depression, does not mean it's a mitigating factor in culpability."

She said he had performed manoeuvres, driven on the wrong side of the road and driven through stop signs, causing concerned residents to phone police.

"Fortunately the cyclist jumped off the bike - you drove over it," she said.

"Had you caused any injuries, you would be going to jail today."

Bayldon, who was raised in Gympie, was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment for dangerous driving, released immediately on 15 months parole.

He was disqualified from driving for 18 months.

Ms Merrin told Bayldon he must address his issues, including what his defence called the "stigma" of going on anti-depression medication, instead self- medicating with alcohol.

Topics:  buncourt cycling cyclist dangerous driving editors picks

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