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Former footballer says 'brain fade' behind failure to stop

Former AFL footballer Simon Neil Buckley, 26, was convicted in Echuca Magistrates Court on Wednesday of careless driving and failing to stop at a police request.

March 25, 2014 4:30am

A brain fade cost a former AFL player his licence and $700.

Simon Neil Buckley, 26, who played 47 AFL games for Melbourne and Collingwood, was convicted in Echuca Magistrates Court on Wednesday of careless driving and failing to stop at a police request.

Police Prosecutor Senior Constable Liz Jones said officers in a patrol car were travelling east on Heygarth St, Echuca, at 4.18am on Saturday, January 28, 2014.

They saw a black Holden sedan travelling on Hare St towards Heygarth so fast they did not think it would be able to stop safely at the stop sign.

Sen. Constable Jones said the officers estimated the car was travelling at more than 80km/h.

The court heard it stopped noisily, just into the intersection, then the driver turned right and accelerated then pulled into an angle car park.

The police did a U-turn and saw a passenger leave the car and the driver, Buckley, locking the doors.

They called him over, but he ignored them and the two men ran off.

The car was impounded for 30 days at a cost of $920, the court heard.

Later, when police asked Buckley why he ran, he said, ‘‘Because I freaked out. Brain fade,’’ Sen. Constable Jones said.

When Magistrate Robert Kumar asked Buckley about himself, the apprentice carpenter said he had just started a new job in Melbourne and played football in Echuca on the weekends.

‘‘If you plead guilty I’ll impose one fine for both charges and I’ll keep your licence suspension to the minimum one month,’’ Mr Kumar said.

Buckley, who appeared without representation, pleaded guilty to the charges.

Mr Kumar convicted him, fined him $700 and suspended his licence for one month.

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