Rockingham: Man avoids jail time for ramming driver off road in 2014


David Cramer leaving court after receiving a suspended prison sentence for ramming a woman off the road in October, 2014.
David Cramer leaving court after receiving a suspended prison sentence for ramming a woman off the road in October, 2014.

A MAN who deliberately ran a woman off the road and blamed it on an argument he had with his wife has been given a suspended jail sentence.

David Shane Cramer appeared at Rockingham Magistrates Court for sentencing today after previously pleading not guilty to three charges of being the driver involved in an incident where property was damaged and failed to stop, reckless driving (dangerous to the public) and refusing to give a name and address.

He changed his plea to guilty today.

Cramer received a five-month term of imprisonment, suspended for 14 months, cumulative on his current order taking it to a 17 month suspended sentence.

He was also fined $500 for failing to stop, $240 for refusing to give his name and lost his licence for 12 months.

An audible “thank god” could be heard from Cramer’s family when the sentence was handed down.

The prosecutor said there was a hit and run accident between the intersection of the Avenue and Safety Bay Road, Warnbro on October 6, 2014.

A female drove a Barina to the intersection and when the traffic was clear drove across Safety Bay Road from the Avenue to other side to head east; she had observed a Holden utility, being driven by Cramer, far back that had its indicator on to turn left – the opposite direction to which she was going.

Cramer instead kept going and drove straight towards her car and followed at a distance of one metre.

He then revved up beside the Barina’s passenger side and rammed it off the road.

The Barina ended up on the island near a roundabout a short distance away; it crashed into bushes on the road island and was undriveable.

Cramer stopped momentarily, then drove off, only to return a short time later and stop near the crashed Barina.

The driver of the Barina approached and began asking why he had driven into her, but Cramer suddenly reversed his ute, accelerated heavily back towards the woman, whose boyfriend ran up and pulled her away for fear of her being hit.

The other two passengers of the Barina ran and hid behind cars stopped at the roundabout also for fear of being hit.

Later that evening police located the utility parked at a house on the Avenue and went to speak to Cramer, who denied any involvement and abused police officers.

He also assaulted the officers by glancing an officer on the side of the face with a clenched fist but punched another one to the head, knocking off his glasses and grabbed his hair in an attempt to pull him to the ground.

Cramer’s lawyer Malcom Aube said the facts were not disputed and said Cramer was remorseful for his actions.

He said he had been associating with a peer who was bad for him and had had an argument over the phone with his wife about it.

“This caused him to lose his emotional regulation and caused him to get into his car,” Mr Aude said.

He said Cramer had an extensive record, mostly nuisance offences, and had issues with alcohol, cannabis and methylamphetamine.

He gave a long description lasting 30 minutes of Cramer’s past and of having a father unemotionally available for him.

Mr Aube asked for a suspended imprisonment order because his family would suffer if he went to prison.

“But alcohol is the issue sir,” he said.

Magistrate Andrew Maughan asked for clarity.

“Give me the punch line Mr Aube – what do you suggest I do?” Magistrate Maughan said.

Magistrate Maughan said it was regrettable Cramer had entered his guilty plea so late.

“It would have made for easier sentencing and pleading guilty shows you are remorseful; you are entitled to a 10 per cent reduction,” he said.

“The paramount issue here is that (Cramer) has to be punished.”

Magistrate Maughan took into account personal and general deterrence and that Cramer’s psychological report said he had taken positive steps to turn around his life.

“I am concerned that (Cramer’s) poor insight into his (own) behaviour suggests he is at moderate risk of re-offending,” he said.

“It does say further intervention will help improve those poor coping skills.

“His family is in court to support him and that you have engaged with your order is positive.”

“But I need to send a message out to the community… (but) if I sent you to jail today it would undermine your rehabilitative efforts.”