Erratic driver 'abusive'

A magistrate has asked why a Thurgoona man who drunkenly drove his car into several front yards did not also face a disqualified driving charge.

That came after Richard Yates admitted in Albury Local Court that his licence was suspended, in Victoria, at the time of his bourbon-fueled offences.

“I expect you’re going to be charged with another matter,” Tony Murray told the 52-year-old self-employed painter.

Yates pleaded guilty this week to assault police in execution of duty, resist arrest and driving with a high-range prescribed concentration of alcohol.

He was described as “abusive” to police when he finally got out of his vehicle just before his arrest.

Mr Murray ordered a full pre-sentence report for the unrepresented Yates, who must front court again on March 14.

Yates’ escapades began when he was seen driving his Holden Commodore station wagon south on Sugar Gum Way in Thurgoona on December 4 about 6pm.

A witness knew something was wrong when Yates drove into a front yard, his car crashing into a shrub.

The owner of the house confronted Yates, who then drove off “at speed”, heading north.

Believing Yates was drunk, the person called police.

But soon after Yates returned to the street, driving his car into the front yard of another house, then another.

“The accused has accelerated harshly on the front yard, causing the wheels to lose traction on the lawn,” police said.

Police saw Yates drive into another front yard about 6.20pm.

He readily admitted to police he was intoxicated as he had drunk about half a bottle of bourbon.

Yates got out of the car and began pointing at and abusing the witness before police told him to stop.

But Yates pointed at one of the officers and said: “Don’t tell me what to do.”

He stood face-to-face with the officer, who in fear of a possible assault has attempted to restrain him causing Yates to stumble backwards.

He continued to resist arrest.

Yates later provided a blood alcohol reading of 0.153.