A wry view of life for the world-weary

Unsympathetic Judgment Of The Week


I know the law’s the law but occasionally you see something that makes you wonder. Take the case of Timothy Withrow from Port Willunga in South Australia.

While clearing some trees he had a chainsaw accident which resulted in him gashing his hand. On being told that there would be a 10 hour wait at the local hospital and being concerned that the wound might get infected, Withrow set about stitching it using a large needle and some fishing line. He had no antiseptic in the house so (natch) used some gin to wash the wound. The procedure being quite painful he consumed some of the gin, as you would in the circumstances.

Withrow then rang his doctor who advised him to see a surgeon so he jumped in his car and drove himself to the Flinders Medical Centre. Alas, for our brave Aussie he had his collar felt after failing to stop at an intersection and was found to have a blood-alcohol reading of .175. He was charged with and convicted of unlawful driving.

Not unnaturally, Withrow appealed the decision but this week had it rejected on the grounds that he had other options available to him to get to hospital – summoning a taxi, getting a neighbour to take him or waiting for an ambulance which would have cost him $800. All true, of course, but I can’t help thinking that Justice Nicholson, for it was he, got out of bed the wrong side that morning. The moral of the story – follow Pink Floyd’s advice and be careful with that axe, Eugene.


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