Oz motorcyclist fined for riding with barbecue strapped to back on freeway

Melbourne, Aug 26 (ANI): A motorcyclist in Australia has been fined after he was caught riding with a barbecue strapped to his back on the freeway.

Michael Wiles, 29, who was photographed riding along the Eastern Freeway, was fined 800 dollars for careless riding by a magistrate, who has described his behaviour as "ridiculous".

Wiles, who pleaded guilty to the charge, had been spotted in January 2008 heading home with the barbecue that had been put out for hard waste collection.

He was effectively "wearing" the barbecue in order to carry it home, and his vision was partly obscured by a steel grate.

Police investigated the bizarre incident after the Herald Sun published a photo of Wiles taken by a passing motorist.

His barrister Paul McClure told the Melbourne Magistrates Court that his client's excuse was "lack of thought processes" and poverty.

"He was financially a bit under the pump. It turned out the barbecue was a dud and did not work and that's probably why it was at the side of the road," the Daily Telegraph quoted him as saying.

"This is stupid behaviour and nobody should do it," he stated.

McClure said that Wiles suffered ridicule from friends and work mates when his identity was revealed in a follow-up article and he was approached by Barbeques Galore to do an ad.

But he refused to glorify his behaviour and instead used the media to promote a road safety message.

Magistrate Lionel Winton-Smith said he couldn't recall seeing anything like it in his years on the bench.

He said it could have been much worse and Wiles was lucky not to be facing a culpable driving charge if someone had been killed by his action.

However, the magistrate said it was presumably a spur of the moment decision and he downgraded the charge from dangerous to careless driving. (ANI)

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