What a farce - crooked judge lets speeding lamborgini owner off the hook
A MECHANIC charged with recklessly driving a Lamborghini at more than 155km/h has been acquitted by a magistrate who admits he's a Top Gear "tragic".
Police had accused mechanic Leone Antonino Magistro, 53, of driving at high speed on a Perth highway on January 6 this year.
Mr Magistro was at the wheel of a bright yellow 2006 Lamborghini Gallardo he had just picked up from a client, Dr Patrick Nugawela.
He was heading back to his workshop in Perth's north when he was spotted by a police officer in a Ford Falcon.
Senior Constable Michael Brent told Perth Magistrates Court that the sports car's exhaust was belching blue smoke. He tried to keep up with the Lamborghini and had reached 160km/h but Mr Magostro's speed was too quick.
Magistrate Michael Wheeler acquitted Mr Magistro of all charges, saying there was no way the two police officer could accurately determine how fast the Lamborghini was going.
"Ultimately, the police vehicle was so far behind the Lamborghini at all times that when the police vehicle seemed to be doing 160km/h it was impossible to really estimate, or really guesstimate, how fast the (Lamborghini) was moving away from them," the magistrate said.
Mr Wheeler said he did not doubt Senior Constable Brent's honesty when he told the court the police vehicle was travelling at 160km/h but the distance between the two vehicles - 100 to 200 metres - raised questions about the accuracy of the police officer's opinion of what speed Mr Magistro was travelling.
Furthermore, Mr Magistro said, there was never a chance of the police officer's Ford Falcon getting close enough to the Lamborghini to accurately determine its speed.
"With no disrespect to the Ford Falcon couldn't cut the mustard with the Lamborghini being driven by the accused ... it couldn't even catch my car in all honesty," the magistrate said.
He also raised the issue of police not having pursuit vehicles, saying that Senior Constable Brent would probably never have expected it when he arrived in Western Australia from the UK.
"He would have thought he'd never find himself driving a bog-standard Ford Falcon when he came to Australia but I suppose that's what bean counters do," he said.
Mr Magistro was acquitted of reckless driving by Mr Wheeler, who also found there was no evidence he was driving dangerously.
Before handing down his judgment, Mr Wheeler told the court he had a keen interest and vast knowledge of "useless information" about sports cars.
"I have to confess, I'm a Top Gear tragic and know so much useless information about (the 2006 Lamborghini Gallardo) I have to disregard," he said.
"I know (that) in 2006 Top Gear named the Lamborghini Gallardo as the dream car of the year. (Top Gear host) Jeremy Clarkson bought one, in fact, in 2006."
He also noted that he watched Top Gear on Tuesday night when the celebrity guest, actress Kristin Scott Thomas, said she was about to buy a Lamborghini Gallardo.
Mr Magistro was awarded $18,000 in court costs.