Man denies hit-run charge

Kate FieldingSouth Western Times
It is alleged the man was involved in a short police pursuit on February 27 when he failed to give way on Marine Terrace and collided with another vehicle.
Camera IconIt is alleged the man was involved in a short police pursuit on February 27 when he failed to give way on Marine Terrace and collided with another vehicle. Credit: South Western Times

A Busselton man says he was sleeping all day and “the cops are lying” about an alleged hit and run, which left an innocent driver in hospital last week.

Police allege Justin James Coyne, 34, was behind the wheel of a car involved in a short police pursuit on February 27 when he failed to give way on Marine Terrace and collided with another vehicle.

It is alleged Mr Coyne fled the scene.

Mr Coyne was refused bail in Bunbury Magistrate’s Court on Friday and, in response to the decision to keep him in custody, he yelled out in aggression that police were lying and he had two alibis in the court room.

The court was told police initially responded to a car parked in a “suspicious manner” near Busselton Beach Resort about 2pm on the day of the incident.

Police allege Mr Coyne looked at officers before trying to manoeuvre his car around their patrol vehicle, mounting a kerb and driving away.

Mr Coyne allegedly collided with the other vehicle a short time later, causing the car carrying four people to spin twice.

A woman in the car was taken to hospital by an ambulance and suffered severe bruising to her torso, the court was told.

Mr Coyne allegedly fled and the car was later found abandoned with damage and flat rear tyres.

Mr Coyne was arrested the following day.

He has pleaded not guilty to one count each of dangerous driving causing bodily harm, being a driver who failed to stop to ensure help was received, and having no authority to drive.

Police prosecutor Jo Morrissey said bail was opposed because Mr Coyne’s record “speaks for itself” and charges were yet to be laid over another police pursuit involving the same car.

The court was told at the time of the incident, Mr Coyne was subject to a community-based order issued less than a week earlier.

Legal representative Viv Blurton said Mr Coyne “strongly” disputed being the driver, he had a number of alibis, and there was no forensic evidence.

Magistrate Belinda Coleman said Mr Coyne’s record proved he had difficulties with illicit substances and a “significant” history of driving offences and not answering bail offences.

Ms Coleman said there were no bail conditions that would ensure Mr Coyne would stop committing offences, that he would answer bail or would keep the community safe.

The matters were adjourned until next month.

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