http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/n ... 5910033867
A MOTORCYCLIST who was photographed on a freeway with a barbecue strapped to his body has hit a snag.
A magistrate has described Michael Wiles' behaviour as ridiculous and fined him $800 for careless riding.
Mr Wiles, 29, has pleaded guilty to the charge.
The court heard the rider was heading home on the Eastern Freeway in January 2008, when he was spotted carrying a barbecue that had been put out for hard waste collection.
He was effectively “wearing” the barbecue in order to carry it home, and his vision was partly obscured by a steel grate.
Police investigated the bizarre incident after the Herald Sun published a photo of Mr Wiles was taken by a passing motorist.
Mr Wiles' barrister Paul McClure told the Melbourne Magistrates Court today that his client's excuse was “lack of thought processes'' and poverty.
“He was financially a bit under the pump.
“It turned out the barbecue was a dud and did not work and that's probably why it was at the side of the road,'' he said.
“This is stupid behaviour and nobody should do it.''
Mr McClure said that Mr Wiles suffered ridicule from friends and work mates when his identity was revealed in a follow-up article and he was approached by Barbeques Galore to do an ad.
But he refused to glorify his behaviour and instead used the media to promote a road safety message.
Magistrate Lionel Winton-Smith said he couldn't recall seeing anything like it in his years on the bench.
“I'm trying to think of a word to describe it,'' he said.
“Ridiculous?'' said Mr McClure.
“Ridiculous, that will do,'' said the magistrate.
Mr Winton-Smith said it could have been much worse and Mr Wiles was lucky not to be facing a culpable driving charge if someone had been killed by his action.
However, the magistrate said it was presumably a spur of the moment decision and he downgraded the charge from dangerous to careless driving.
Mr Wiles also lost his licence for a month.