A Sydney man has been fined $500 after he was caught speeding home from the Dubbo zoo when he discovered his sister was positive with COVID-19.
Ajay Bhargava of Henry Lawson Drive, Peakhurst, pleaded guilty to driving at excessive speed in Dubbo Local Court on Wednesday.
The 59-year-old was caught travelling 134km/h in a 100km/h zone on the Golden Highway at Ballimore on June 12.
READ MORE COURT:
Bhargava's defence told the court he had been in Dubbo visiting the zoo on his day off, when he received a phone call revealing his sister had been hospitalised after testing positive to COVID-19.
"He was very distressed and that caused him to drive home during that period ... he was distracted and does acknowledge he was speeding," Bhargava's defence told the court.
The defence said Bhargava was working as a casual chef and relied on his licence to work on short notice.
"I was so stressed, I was trying to contact my sister she was not answering her phone, so I wanted to go home," Bhargava pleaded in court.
Magistrate Gary Wilson took into account Bhargava's financial circumstances but said there was no excuse for speeding.
"I understand that, but it's still no excuse for travelling at that speed," Magistrate Wilson said.
"I take into account your financial circumstances and you are only working as a part-time chef, but I'm not going to dismiss the offence."
Bhargava was initially fined $920, but Magistrate Wilson reduced the fine to $500.