Driver to challenge 'callous disregard' in hit and run case
DRIVER Jarrod Lawlor is accused of crashing into a motorcyclist and leaving the accident scene without helping the badly injured rider.
Just two weeks after the crash, and with the rider still hospitalised, 22-year-old Lawlor walked into an Ipswich court with his father and legal counsel saying he intended to plead guilty to two of three serious charges levelled against him.
Jarrod Gavan Lawlor, from Walloon, is charged with driving without due care and attention near Karrabin on June 29; failing to remain at a road incident and assist injured persons/show callous disregard; and failing to stop at the scene of an accident.
"Yes I understand," Lawlor said when the charges were read out to him at Ipswich Magistrates Court yesterday.
When the case went before Magistrate William John Smith, defence barrister Martin Longhurst said Lawlor was involved in a very tragic incident in which he hit a motorbike and caused its rider injuries, and would plead guilty to two of the offences.
Prosecutor Sergeant Paul Caldwell said police sought an adjournment of the proceedings because the allegation against Lawlor was that he struck the rider with his vehicle, throwing him from the bike.
The man had suffered spinal injuries and police wanted time to inquire further into an update of the rider's condition.
"He was still in hospital on July 8 and remains in hospital," Sgt Caldwell said.
Police would consider making an amendment to the charge of driving without due care/attention, as there had been recent changes in legislation.
Sgt Caldwell said police would make inquiries into the rider's injuries as they may constitute a charge of causing grievous bodily harm.
Mr Smith said it was appropriate for the court to know the full extent of the injuries, as well as for any amendments by police.
Mr Longhurst said the element of the second charge alleging Lawlor had shown callous disregard was not accepted and he would make a submission on this.
He said this was not a circumstance of aggravation but should be left to the court's discretion to decide upon hearing the facts.
Sgt Caldwell said there would be submissions by police that callous disregard, if proven, was a circumstance, or an element of the offence.
Lawlor did not make a formal plea to the three charges.
Mr Smith adjourned court proceedings to August 7.