Fans scrambled to avoid speeding car at rodeo

 

ATTENDEES at a Queensland rodeo were forced to jump out of the way of a speeding car driven by a Gold Coast man, a court has heard.

The Southport Magistrates Court was told Jason Daniel Lister took his work car without permission and erratically drove through the Nebo Showgrounds near Mackay, which was occupied by about 5000 people.

The 26-year-old FIFO worker pleaded guilty yesterday to dangerous driving, unlawful use of a motor vehicle, driving disqualified and evading police.

Thousands were watching when the incident occurred. Picture: Alex Coppel
Thousands were watching when the incident occurred. Picture: Alex Coppel


Police prosecutor Constable Lewis Butterfield said Lister drove into the showgrounds in a Hilux Ute on May 25 about 10.55pm and weaved around patrons.

At one point he became airborne after driving over a speedbump, the court was told.

"He was travelling at excessive speed as he entered the showgrounds," Const Butterfield said.

"The vehicle (was) weaving in and around several patrons, back and forth on the campgrounds of the rodeo

"Police watched as the people jumped out of the way of the vehicle."

Two patrons struck Lister's car with their fists, which prompted him to leave.

Lister then sped away from the scene after police attempted to stop him.

About 5000 people were camping at the Nebo Showgrounds. Picture: iStock
About 5000 people were camping at the Nebo Showgrounds. Picture: iStock

Defence lawyer Jodi Allen of Allen and Searing Criminal Lawyers said Lister drove to the rodeo because a friend suggested he come along and then made a getaway from police because he had been drinking alcohol.

"He saw police and panicked," Ms Allen said.

"He accepts he was driving at excessive speeds for the circumstance."

Magistrate Jane Bentley sentenced Lister to 18 months in jail and disqualified him from driving for three years.

Lister will be eligible for parole on February 27 next year.

Gold Coast man Jason Daniel Lister. Picture: Facebook
Gold Coast man Jason Daniel Lister. Picture: Facebook