No conviction for 67-year-old driver who deliberately hit a Harley Davidson rider with his bus

A MAN who deliberately hit a Harley Davidson rider with his bus on the Kwinana Freeway in January left court today with a fine and no criminal conviction recorded against his name.

Dennis O’Brien pleaded guilty in Mandurah Magistrates Court today to dangerous driving.

The court heard the 67-year-old was driving his 14 seater taxi bus on the Kwinana Freeway near Wellard, on January 16 at 10pm, when two motorcyclists entered the freeway.

The two motorcyclists were driving to the right of O’Brien’s bus.

O’Brien veered his bus into the right lane toward the rider on two occasions without indicating.

The motorcyclist driving on the right swerved to avoid the bus on both occasions.

He drove his motorcycle up to O’Brien’s window to talk to him about his driving.

O’Brien once again swerved the bus to the right and this time he connected with the motorcycle.

The rider was thrown into the air and he landed on the carriageway, travelled along the bitumen, before coming to a stop against a bush.

A red sedan travelling behind the motorcycles had to take evasive action, as did the second rider.

O’Brien did not stop at the scene of the accident.

He was followed by a person driving behind him, who made him stop.

O’Brien was originally charged by Mandurah Police in March with dangerous driving occasioning bodily harm, but the charges were downgraded.

Counsel for the accused Trent Petherick said O’Brien claimed the motorcycles that entered the freeway were loud Harleys.

Mr Petherick said O’Brien felt they were intimidating him.

He said one of the riders was “weaving like a snake” behind him.

O’Brien claimed that when he eventually did stop his bus the second rider smashed it with his helmet.

Mr Petherick said the injured rider refused medical treatment.

Mr Petherick applied for a spent conviction for his client, he told the court that O’Brien has had his licence for 48 years and this is his first serious offence.

Magistrate Vivien Edwards said the circumstances were “somewhat unusual.”

“I understand why the charges were amended to dangerous driving,” she said.

She granted O’Brien a spent conviction due to his “blemish free record” and did not disqualify his licence.

He was fined $600.