Oddly Enough

Undertaker under influence harasses in hearse

A hearse leaves the Andrews Air Force Base in Washington December 30, 2006. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

SYDNEY (Reuters) - An Australian undertaker who got drunk and followed a woman in his hearse, honking the horn and shouting threats, was making a “cry for help,” his lawyer told a Sydney court Tuesday.

Adam Lee’s life revolved around Caring Funerals and his work for the Rotary club, lawyer Roland Bonnicci told the magistrate.

But he acknowledged that Lee, 37, did binge drink on weekends and his “mental state is deteriorating,” the Australian Associated Press (AAP) reported.

The prosecutor, Sergeant Paul McGirr, was unimpressed with the man’s defense. “The only cry for help on that evening was the cry for help by Maureen Wyer, who was the victim,” he said.

The court heard that Wyer was followed through inner-Sydney streets one night in December 2004 and became gravely concerned for her safety because the driver was sounding his horn and yelling, AAP reported.

Lee was found guilty earlier this year of driving while disqualified, drunken driving, driving in a menacing manner and not obeying police instructions.

In sentencing submissions Tuesday, Bonnicci urged the magistrate to place Lee on a psychiatric treatment plan. Sentencing was set for Thursday.

Writing by Roger Crabb, editing by Paul Tait