AN INTERNATIONAL motorcycle speedway champion from Camira has been convicted of fleeing police while drunk and high on marijuana.
Darcy Stephen Ward, 20, made headlines when charged and later cleared of three counts of sexual assault in Dorset, England, following a speedway event in August 2011. Ward, who is based in the UK and has contracts in Europe, was back in Australia on a break.
He and a group of friends went for a ride along Old Logan Rd at Camira about 4.30am, with Ward on an unregistered motorcycle, to another house only 400m away.
Ward had been drinking heavily and smoking cannabis so when police saw the bike and tried to pull him over, he panicked and fled, mounting the gutter and riding into parkland.
When officers located him Ward was fully co-operative and admitted he had been drinking, taking drugs and only held an expired learner's permit.
He faced Ipswich Magistrates Court yesterday and pleaded guilty to driving under the influence of liquor or a drug, failing to stop for police, driving without a licence and driving an unregistered and uninsured vehicle.
New legislation was introduced late last year where if a person fails to stop for police the minimum penalty is a $5500 fine and two-year disqualification. Ward said he could pay the fine immediately.
His defence lawyer said Ward intended to head back to the UK soon to continue his career in speedway racing.
Magistrate Michael Quinn told Ward he put himself in a precarious situation and stood to lose plenty with his career if he behaved in this way again.
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