Driver loses court appeal despite admissions made by police
A MAN found guilty of being under the influence of alcohol or drugs in a Sippy Downs crash has had his appeal rejected despite bizarre admissions by police.
Michael David Graham had his appeal thrown out after contesting guilty verdicts handed down in Maroochydore Magistrates Court on October 7 last year.
After a brief Magistrates Court trial Graham was found guilty of two counts of driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol for which he was convicted.
He also pleaded guilty to failing to stop at the scene of a crash and obstructing police following the magistrate's two guilty verdicts handed down for the offences committed on March 21, 2015.
Graham's appeal was dismissed by Judge John Robertson on June 24 in Maroochydore District Court.
Disputed in the appeal was whether Graham was under the influence at the actual time of the crash.
At about 4.30pm on March 21, 2015, Graham crashed his car into two parked cars in Sippy Downs, causing significant damage to the vehicles while one car ended up on its side.
Graham drove away from the scene before he was found by police at his nearby home in Sippy Downs.
A policeman told the court he saw Graham climb out of the driver's window of the car, fleeing through his house, the backyard and then over a fence into nearby properties before he was apprehended by police who were helped by other residents.
The officer told the court Graham had been extremely aggressive, yelling incoherently and had slurred speech. He noted a smell of alcohol on Graham's breath and bloodshot eyes when he was taken to the watch house.
Police didn't request a breath sample from Graham at any time, saying Graham was clearly intoxicated, incoherent and not listening.
An officer's assessment of Graham differed from evidence given by Graham's house mates, who both said he had not appeared affected by alcohol. The police officer also failed to record in either house mates' statements their assessment of Graham.
A policeman's statement said Graham had admitted to drink driving the next day, however after listening to a recording of their conversation, the officer agreed Graham had made no admission, but was unable to explain why he'd included the admission in the statement.
Graham's house mates both told the court Graham had come home stressed and repeating that he'd "f***** up" after the crash.
The magistrate criticised officers for not taking a sample, before siding with the evidence of the two attending officers, backed up by a nearby resident who'd helped apprehend Graham.
Judge Robertson found the magistrate had made no error in his judgment, dismissing the appeal.