Expensive drive home for Albury plumber

AN Albury plumber is about $30,000 out of pocket after shunting a parked car five metres when attempting to elude a pursuing highway patrol officer, a court heard yesterday.

Timothy Kevin Benyon contacted the insurance company for a woman whose car was shunted and has been told the bill is likely to be about $15,000.

Solicitor Kel Clowry said in Albury Local Court Benyon was facing a similar damage cost and must foot the bill himself because he was drink-driving.

Benyon appeared for sentencing on charges of failing to stop in a police pursuit and high-range drink-driving.

Benyon, 26, of Mountford Crescent, was detected by a highway patrol car travelling at excessive speed in his Volkswagen Amarok on East Street about 11.20pm on October 25.

The officer clocked him at 94km/h.

The lights on the police vehicle were activated indicating for Benyon to stop but he increased speed to 106km/h.

There was a short pursuit with Benyon hitting the parked car in Fletcher Street before mounting a kerb.

He jumped out, running into the side of the police car.

Benyon ran off down the street with police in pursuit and he was subsequently found in a yard where he was arrested.

A breath analysis at the station gave a blood alcohol reading of 0.157.

Benyon told police he had finished work at 5pm and went to a hotel where he consumed six schooners of heavy beer along with a meal.

Mr Clowry said Benyon intended to pull over, but panicked and said he realised he was “an absolute idiot”.

“He realises the potential danger of his stupid actions on that night,” Mr Clowry said.

Mr Clowry suggested a suspended jail sentence as Benyon would be his own jailer if he commits another offence and any licence disqualification will have a significant impact on his business.

Magistrate Tony Murray said the pursuit was over a short distance and told Benyon: “Hopefully it has been a real wake-up call for you”.

Benyon received a nine-month suspended sentence for the police pursuit, 80 hours community service for the drink-driving matter and was disqualified from driving for two years.

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