'Selfish': Dad caught speeding 71km over with kids in car
A GLADSTONE dad has been described as "incredibly irresponsible and selfish" after a court heard he drove at 171km/h on the Bruce Highway with four children in the car.
Alexander Bryce Gardiner also failed to restrain his son, 5, in a booster seat.
Gardiner pleaded guilty to several charges in Gladstone Magistrates Court on Tuesday including disobeying the speed limit and fail to ensure a child was in child restraint.
The 55-year-old was detected by a marked police van parked southbound on the Bruce Highway at Maryborough travelling at 171km an hour.
Gardiner was speeding and overtaking vehicles on the highway with four children in the court, the court was told.
Police activated their lights and sirens.
When officers approached the silver Holden Commodore they noticed the young child without a booster seat.
Gardiner's licence was suspended but he was caught driving in Glen Eden on February 27.
Defence lawyer Cassandra Ditchfield said when her client, Gardiner, was caught speeding he was on his way from picking up his children from their mother's house.
Ms Ditchfield said Gardiner and his former partner got into an argument over a minor issue and Gardiner decided to leave quickly.
Ms Ditchfield told the court during the commotion Gardiner forgot to take the booster seat. Ms Ditchfield said her client had no reason to speed.
"The vehicle is a performance vehicle," Ms Ditchfield said. "He simply did not realise he was anywhere near that speed.
"That vehicle can reach much higher than that, comfortably.
"But he accepts he should have been paying attentions."
After the offence Gardiner stopped driving the commodore, Ms Ditchfield said.
Gardiner bought a more speed-sensible vehicle; a red Suzuki Grand Vitara.
This was the vehicle he was caught driving in February after his licence was suspended for the speeding offence.
Ms Ditchfield said her client paid $5000 for the Suzuki but it was impounded.
"He lost that vehicle," she said.
The court was told Gardiner had not received the letter of suspension in the mail but Magistrate Dennis Kinsella said he should have known it was coming.
Ms Ditchfield said Gardiner was a mechanical fitter at a large Gladstone site.
She said Gardiner was catching an Uber to work and was looking at selling the commodore.
Mr Kinsella said the whole event was "incredibly serious".
"You are a mature man, you are 55-years-old and you should know better," Mr Kinsella said.
Mr Kinsella told the court Gardiner had a traffic history in Queensland, new South Wales and Victoria.
"You placed yourself, your children and other road users at great peril driving at such a significant speed," he said.
Gardiner was fined $2000, disqualified from driving for six months and a conviction was recorded.