A THURGOONA man warned last month he was facing the possibility of a jail sentence for high-range drink- driving has avoided going behind bars with a 300-hour community service order imposed on him instead.
Magistrate Tony Murray told James White Beaton when sentencing him in Albury Local Court that he was lucky to be alive after crashing a motorcycle into a pole in May.
“It is objectively a very serious offence,” Mr Murray said.
“There are substantial injuries referred to in the facts. Obviously it was exacerbated by you not wearing a helmet at the time.”
Mr Murray had previously been told the crash put Beaton, 28, of Talgarno Court, in The Alfred hospital in Melbourne with eight cracked ribs on his right side, two on the left, two spinal fractures, a broken collarbone and a lacerated liver.
Beaton was heavily intoxicated and a blood sample taken at hospital provided an alcohol reading of 0.190.
He appeared for sentencing yesterday on the drink-driving matter and other offences of unlicensed driving and using an unregistered vehicle.
Beaton was riding a small motorbike he had just bought in Feathertop Circuit at Thurgoona about 2.30am on May 11.
A witness heard a revving noise and a faint moan before seeing Beaton sitting hunched over in the gutter.
He tried three times to get back on the bike before he fell onto the roadway.
Police saw him 20 minutes later lying partially in the gutter and nature strip in a recovery position.
The bike was about a metre from a light pole, with a lighter and packet of cigarettes about three metres away from him.
Beaton’s forehead was cut between the eyes and his left cheek was grazed.
He at first refused help from ambulance officers, but he was unable to move when he attempted to get up.
He was assisted on to a spinal board with a brace put around his neck and taken to the Albury hospital before being transferred to Melbourne.
Beaton was self-employed in a garden maintenance business before his accident.
However, he has been unable to resume work.
Mr Murray said Beaton had previous drink-driving matters in 2006 and 2008.
Beaton was disqualified for two years along with getting the community service work for drink-driving and received $300 fines on each of the other two matters.