He had a helmet, he just refused to wear it while cycling.
He had a helmet, he just refused to wear it while cycling.

Refusal to wear helmet leads to cycle of offending

RIDING his pushbike without a helmet has become something of a cycle of offending for Toowoomba man Peter John Jannusch.

The 34-year-old had been convicted and fined for the offence 35 times before he appeared in Toowoomba Magistrates Court yesterday to plead guilty to another two charges of "rider of bicycle failing to wear approved helmet" as the charge appeared on the court list.

Jannusch had been pulled up by police near the corner of Margaret and Dent Sts in Toowoomba's CBD about 3pm on November 22, when the officers spotted him riding past without a helmet, police prosecutor Nikola Prince told the court.

Five days later at about 1.15pm on November 27, the 34-year-old was stopped by a police patrol as he rode his bike on Tor St near the Hursley St intersection - again he was sans headgear.

However, it wasn't as if Jannusch had completely flouted the law and didn't have a helmet at all... he did.

His helmet was dangling from a piece of string tied to his bicycle's handlebars, the court heard.

Asked by police why he wasn't wearing an approved helmet, Jannusch had peddled out the excuse that "he doesn't like wearing helmets as it doesn't make him look cool", Ms Prince said.

The officer had told him that he'd be better served wearing the helmet on his head, she said.

He had given the same response on both occasions, Ms Prince told the court.

If nothing else, Jannusch is consistent in his stance against the wearing of the "uncool" headwear.

In 2014 when he appeared on his 32nd offence of failing to wear a helmet while riding a bicycle, Jannusch had told the same court in regard to wearing helmets, "They don't suit me. Don't like them really".

Duty solicitor Jag MacDonald, of MacDonald Law, told the court yesterday that his client's history for such offending was an aggravating factor, but the offence was at the lower end of the scale and he submitted for a fine.

His client was on Centrelink Newstart allowance, he said.

Jannusch also pleaded guilty to an unrelated case of shoplifting in which he had been caught by CCTV camera stuffing a $3.99 juice drink down the front of his pants at a Ruthven St convenience store on November 1.

Magistrate Robbie Davies told Jannusch "you certainly are a repeat offender" in relation to the helmet offending.

However, reminding him that wearing a helmet when riding a bicycle was the law and noting his previous 35 convictions for the same offence, Mr Davies convicted and fined Jannusch $350 which was referred to SPER (State Penalties Enforcement Registry) for collection.