Dutch tourist Michael Hakeboom outside Lismore Courthouse.
Dutch tourist Michael Hakeboom outside Lismore Courthouse.

Dutch driver can go home

A DUTCH traveller charged with serious offences following a head-on road smash near Nimbin that left his girlfriend a paraplegic, will be allowed to leave Australia.

Michael Hakeboom, 30, was badly hurt in the crash on January 21 and still in a wheelchair when he appeared in Lismore Local Court yesterday.

He is charged with dangerous driving, dangerous driving causing grievous bodily harm, and negligent driving causing grievous bodily harm.

Lawyer Megan Cusack, and notary public and specialist in personal injury law Allan Cowley, made a successful application to vary Hakeboom's bail conditions so he can return home to Deventer in the Netherlands with his injured girlfriend.

Ms Cusack said Hakeboom's girlfriend was being medi-evacuated on a flight out of Brisbane today and Hakeboom was also booked. His girlfriend would not go without him.

Police did not oppose the application.

“Is he coming back?” asked Magistrate Robyn Denes.

“He will come back,” said Ms Cusack.

She said her client's brother and mother had flown over to be with Hakeboom.

The family would leave a $2000 surety.

Hakeboom told the court his ticket from Australia was one-way.

However, the magistrate ordered $5000 be lodged as it would be more appropriate given the seriousness of the charges.

Ms Denes said $2000 was less than the price of an airline ticket.

Ms Cusack said his intentions were to return to Australia but he wanted to accompany his long-time girlfriend, now a paraplegic, home.

The unit the couple lived in had to undergo modifications and his girlfriend would be receiving rehabilitation.

The case was adjourned to March 23.



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