FAMILY TENSIONS: The front-end loader driven Brett Evans drove on the Bruce Highway while drunk.
FAMILY TENSIONS: The front-end loader driven Brett Evans drove on the Bruce Highway while drunk. Contributed

Drunk on red wine Brett Evans ran from cops in an earthmover

SPARKS flying, drink-driver Brett Evans was behind the wheel of his dad's 35-tonne earth mover, barrelling down the Bruce Highway with police in pursuit.

Sparks erupted from the lowered metal bucket as it struck the bitumen in the evening darkness.

But Evans, who'd illegally taken the yellow Komatsu loader from the family quarry, did not stop until the big machine got bogged when it went off the highway.

Police caught up with Evans at Eureka, north of Childers, and found the bulky 42-year-old driver was nearly three times the legal alcohol limit.

After spending four months in custody since his arrest in August, Evans has gone before Bundaberg Magistrates Court and pleaded guilty to more than a dozen charges including the assault of his dad.

Evans pleaded guilty to drink driving (0.147) on Tuesday, August 1 while driving a Komatsu loader on the Bruce Hwy at Eureka; driving when unlicensed; driving an unregistered and uninsured vehicle (the loader); drink driving; seriously assaulting Bruce Evans at Booyal - a person aged over 60 on August 3; drink-driving on Ringwood Rd at Booyal on August 14; driving unlicensed when suspended; unlawful possession of a weapon (flick-knife); driving a car that was unregistered and uninsured; trespass by entering a business premise at Booyal on August 14; stealing a belt sander and fuel from Booyal Quarries; and causing wilful damage to a crushing plant screen box and two fuel drums.

Police prosecutor Tina Bland said a police patrol saw the 35-tonne earth mover at 6pm being driven at 50kmh along the highway.

It was only illuminated by a flashing rear hazard light, and its front metal bucket was bouncing off the bitumen "throwing sparks into the air".

Snr Cnst Bland said police tried to intercept with flashing lights on but the driver failed to stop.

Police used high-powered lights to illuminate the dozer then Evans adjusted the bucket (off the ground), the machine leaving the road and driven at speed over bushes.

When it became bogged, Evans clambered down and told police "lock me up". He had been drinking red wine from a milkshake cup.

Snr Cnst Bland said that two days later, at 7pm on August 3, Childers police were called to a house at Booyal where Evans' mother Shirley Evans told officers her son had left after assaulting his father.

Punches were thrown and Evans got his father in a headlock. Evans said his father got the injuries because of the number of times he'd fallen over.

On August 6, Evans went back to his parents' home and refused to leave. All attempts to calm him failed and his father grabbed an unloaded firearm and told him to get off the property.

A witness took the rifle and locked it in a gun safe and Evans punched his father in the face. He suffered a broken nose and facial bruising.

Then at 2.30pm on August 14 police were called to Booyal Quarries, the family-operated business where Evans was seen trespassing.

He'd driven an unregistered ute away from the property and stolen over 300 litres of fuel and a belt sander.

Evans had driven into a large crushing box and when later breath tested had an alcohol reading of 0.125.

Lawyer Edwina Rowan said Evans' offending history was not flattering and reflected his ongoing problem with alcohol.

Evans had worked in the quarry since 17 but tensions had boiled over because of his alcohol use.

"He has the support of his family. He put his social life before his work and works very long hours. It is dirty, hard and heavy work," Ms Rowan said.

"And losing him would have severe impact on the business."

Ms Rowan said there was hope that with counselling for his alcohol issues Evans would one day run the business operation.

Magistrate John Smith told Evans' that he hopes he will be able to sort himself out, and do something constructive about his excess use of alcohol.

"You were a danger to the public with alcohol in your system and the use of the loader on a public road," Mr Smith said.

Mr Smith said a jail term was appropriate and accepted he'd already spent 122 days in pre-sentence custody.

Evans was sentenced to 12 months' jail for the assault on his father and received lesser jail terms for other offences.

He was disqualified from driving for over four years.

"And please don't drive on public roads while disqualified," Mr Smith told Evans.

He was released on immediate parole.

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