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A New Zealand man who was caught riding his motorcycle along a freeway in Melbourne, Australia, with a barbeque strapped to his body has been hit with an AU$800 fine (£457) and banned from driving for a month.

Michael Wiles, 29, was photographed by a passing motorist as he hit speeds of up to 75kph on one of Melbourne’s busiest freeways with a cast-off barbeque strapped to himself. The picture was later published to the media, eventually leading to him being charged by police for careless driving.

The New Zealander, who now lives in Australia, found the BBQ in a rubbish collection. In court, he claimed that his attempts to carry it home had been inspired by what he had seen on a documentary about Vietnam, where unusual loads are often attached to motorcycles.

In a further setback, the barbecue turned out to be “a dud”, Wiles’s lawyer Paul McClure told the Melbourne Magistrates Court yesterday.

 

Magistrate Lionel Winton-Smith said he had never encountered a case such as this in all his years as a magistrate, branding his actions as “ridiculous”.

“I have seen people with perhaps bits of wood sticking out of the car, but a barbecue?” Mr Winton-Smith said.

“I’m trying to think of a word to describe it.”

“Ridiculous?” Mr McClure suggested.

“Ridiculous. That will do,” Mr Winton-Smith said.

The court also heard that Mr Wiles has since been approached by barbeque retailer, Barbeques Galore, to star in their advertisements but declined the offer, claiming that it would be inappropriate to “glorify” his act of stupidity.

“He has been effectively used as an advertisement for what not to do on the roads, which he is wholly and completely in agreement with,” his lawyer claimed.

When asked if he now owned a barbecue, Wiles responded: “I’m better off without one.”

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