Joondalup Magistrates Court: driver fined for causing serious injury to motorcyclist in Merriwa

stock image.
stock image.

A MAGISTRATE has acknowledged the torment of both the victim and the offender while handing down a fine to a driver whose inattention left a motorcyclist with a broken back and cracked skull in Merriwa.

The victim, who was not in court, said via an impact statement that his severe ailments had left him feeling like a burden on his family and friends.

The offender Gary John Goodwin (63) faced Joondalup Magistrates Court on Friday after pleading guilty to careless driving causing the serious injury of a man on March 11.

Goodwin steered his vehicle into the path of an oncoming motorcyclist while turning right at an intersection on Baltimore Parade about 2.10pm.

The court heard the rider struck the side of the car, causing multiple injuries including fractures to his skull and vertebrae, a broken wrist and bruising.

Magistrate Deen Potter said such matters were “very difficult” to sentence and rarely offered relief to the victim.

He accepted it was a “momentary lapse of inattention” and must have been a “traumatic event” for Goodwin.

Mr Potter fined him $2500 payable to the victim and handed down a mandatory driver’s licence suspension.

Goodwin’s duty lawyer highlighted the fact he rendered assistance on scene after the crash and attempted to check on the motorcyclist’s welfare in hospital.

The maximum penalty for the offence is three years in jail or a $36,000 fine.