5 October 2023

Ariah Park P-plater pleads guilty to driving offences

| Shri Gayathirie Rajen
Start the conversation

Zachary Dart, 18, is to face Griffith Local Court in November for sentencing over driving offences. Photo: Oliver Jacques.

An Ariah Park man has pleaded guilty following an investigation into rural crime-related offences in the Murrumbidgee.

Zachary Dart, 18, faced Griffith Local Court on 27 September and pleaded guilty to charges of driving recklessly, speeding dangerously and not complying with a P2 licence by not displaying a ”P” plate. In his previous court appearance, Dart pleaded guilty to driving under the influence.

He is also charged with not having safe storage of ammunition as a licence holder and entering enclosed agricultural land.

Magistrate Trevor Khan set Dart’s next court date as 29 November for sentencing.

Rural Crime Prevention Team investigators established Operation Brushwood to target rural crime-related offences. They conducted a five-day operation between 24 and 28 August in the Hillston, Booligal, Hay and Rankin Springs areas.

READ ALSO Bottoms up! Griffith mobile bar The Perfect Pour granted liquor licence

During the operation, police patrolled the intersection of Mount Grace Road and Kidman Way, Wallanthery, where they attempted to stop a Mitsubishi Triton that was allegedly speeding about 7:30 pm on 26 August.

Police initiated a pursuit when the vehicle allegedly failed to stop, but the chase was ended shortly afterwards due to safety concerns.

Following inquiries, police attended a property on O’Briens Road and found Dart and two others hiding just after 8 pm.

Officers conducted a breath test on Dart, which police say returned a positive result, and he was later arrested and taken to Hillston Police Station for secondary testing.

READ ALSO It’s in Defence’s best interest to fully support the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide

During the five-day operation, police conducted 28 random breath tests, vehicle and person searches, and saleyard, firearm, fishing licence and kangaroo harvest inspections, with several infringement notices issued.

Investigators also liaised with landholders in the area to provide advice on target-hardening measures and the importance of reporting crime early to the police.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or online. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report information via NSW Police social media pages.

Start the conversation

Daily Digest

Want the best Riverina news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riverina stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.