Driver warned of jail's sexual gorillas

SYDNEY Tue Jan 6, 2009 11:37am EST

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SYDNEY (Reuters) - An Australian court has issued a blunt warning about the sexual predators a young driver faces in jail if he does not stop speeding, as authorities struggle to stop teenagers street racing.

"You'll find big, ugly, hairy strong men (in jail) who've got faces only a mother could love that will pay a lot of attention to you -- and your anatomy," said Magistrate Brian Maloney.

The 19-year-old male appeared in Sydney's Downing Center Court on Monday charged with driving without a license, failing to stop at a police alcohol check point and driving dangerously.

It was his third time before the courts for driving offences, prompting the magistrate's warning he would be jailed next time.

Maloney barred the teenager from driving until 2013, placed him on a 12-month good behavior bond and ordered him to do 150 hours of community work.

Breaching any of these conditions would see the teenager jailed where he would "shower with the gorillas in the mist down at Long Bay jail," said Maloney, his comments confirmed by the court on Tuesday.

"Out of control" was the frontpage headline in Sydney's The Daily Telegraph newspaper on Tuesday for a story on four teenagers either booked for street racing, speeding, driving without a license or crashing their car and killing a passenger.

The newspaper's editorial backed the magistrate's warning of life behind bars, saying his comments were "a vision in clarity" and gave the teenager "a reality check of his future."

"We can only hope this strategy helps. Hope it ends the slaughter of young innocents on the roads through stupidity...," said the Telegraph. "Road safety has become a war zone and any tactics are permissible..."

Police in the southern state of Victoria impounded 42 cars in the past six days after drivers were caught speeding.

One driver, aged 78, was clocked in Melbourne on New Year's Day at 170 kph (105 mph) -- 70 kph (44 mph) over the limit.

The 78-year-old was the "oldest hoon" in Victoria to have his car confiscated for speeding, local media said on Tuesday.

"It is disappointing to see a senior member of our community being so irresponsible," Acting Police Sergeant Carlo Visser told Melbourne's Herald-Sun newspaper.

"What example does this set for younger drivers?" said Visser.

(Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)

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