Gordon Bede Wright
Gordon Bede Wright

'Citizen of the year' jailed

WHEN Gordon Bede Wright ambled into a Bundaberg bicycle store he told the sales assistant he wanted to test ride a $720 bicycle.

Wright was given the okay, got the two wheels rolling on the Apollo mountain bike and took off.

But, apparently enjoying being a free spirit, the route taken by the 46-year-old father of three didn't end back at the Freedom Cycle and Sports store.

The antics of Wright, who claims he was once a "citizen of the year”, were revealed in Bundaberg Magistrates Court.

He'd also been in a car that crashed with a police car and left the scene.

Wright pleaded guilty to 15 offences that include failing to stop for police on June 30, trespass on June 16, drug driving, wilful damage, stealing, fraud, receiving tainted property and unauthorised dealing with shop goods.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Tina Bland said Wright took the bike to a pawn shop and used it for a $100 loan.

She said the trespass offence occurred after Wright had been told he could not stay in a shed.

However, Wright used pliers to gain entry through a door, had a shower and used power until neighbours called police.

Snr Cnst Bland said Wright had been in a white ute that crashed into a police car on Goodwood Road and then sped off with a damaged front.

When police tried to stop him, the ute was driven on to the wrong side of the road and officers called off the chase.

In an incident on July 1, police pulled Wright over while he was driving with meth in his system.

In another offence Wright scanned $83.80 worth of items at a Bundaberg store, saying "I'm not paying for these”, and left.

Defence lawyer Lavonda Maloy said Wright had won a Year 12 school science and maths competition, been a successful triathlete and won a Rotary citizen of the year award because of his contribution to the community.

But he said he been doing "stupid s---” and self-medicating with substance abuse after a relationship ended.

Magistrate Belinda Merrin sentenced Wright to six month's jail.

With time already served, Wright will be released on parole on November 20 having served 50 days.

In addition to the jail term, he was disqualified from driving for two years and fined $500.



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