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Driver using stuck accelerator defence wins bid to appeal

A DRIVER contesting a speeding charge after being caught driving 73kmh over the speed limit will be allowed to appeal the guilty finding.

Matthew James Honey had argued the speeding incident happened when his car's accelerator jammed.

Yesterday he won a District Court appeal to have his case reheard, after a magistrate had refused his request to reopen the matter.

Mr Honey was convicted and fined $1200 in the Maroochydore Magistrates Court on July 26.

His licence was automatically suspended for six months.

Mr Honey was clocked at 183kmh in a 110kmh zone on the Bruce Hwy at Eumundi on October 26 last year.

He pleaded not guilty when he first appeared in the Magistrates Court in April.

However, he failed to turn up at court at the appointed times on July 20 and 26 to present his case.

Mr Honey was convicted and fined in his absence.

The magistrate then decided in chambers to refuse Mr Honey's request to reopen the case.

Mr Honey then lodged an application with the District Court to have the matter re-heard.

After little legal argument from Mr Honey but involved legal discussion with Lily Brisick, representing the Queensland Police Service, Judge Tony Long yesterday set aside Mr Honey's conviction and granted his application for a rehearing.

Mr Honey will front Maroochydore Magistrates Court on Monday to seek a date to have the matter heard by a different magistrate.

Judge Long, in granting Mr Honey's application, noted he had been the author of his own problems by failing to turn up to court at the appointed times.

But the judge also found that the Magistrates Court could not have given appropriate consideration to written material relating to Mr Honey's defence.

Judge Long said the application for a rehearing which Mr Honey made to the magistrate on the date of his conviction, was missing some written material.

He observed that the missing material could have been discussed if the application for rehearing had been heard in Mr Honey's presence.

The judge also said Mr Honey's tardiness was not reason enough to refuse a re-hearing.

But he warned Mr Honey that he should be at court at least 30 minutes early in future.

"Yes, I will be there early," Mr Honey said.

Judge Long also noted some discrepancies between the application forms for re-hearing found on the Queensland Courts website and the Queensland Parliamentary Counsel website.

Mr Honey did not want to comment after the decision, but when asked by the judge if he had anything to say described the matter as "on the right track".

Topics:  cars, court, fines, motoring, police, speeding


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