TWO Australians have been fined for riding nude through floodwaters. They were found drunk by the police.
Matthew Kean Fenn and Damien Mark Ingram, pleaded guilty in the Cairns Magistrates' Court yesterday to causing a public nuisance. They were fined $200 each and called "a pair of fools" by an unimpressed acting Magistrate Kerry McFadden.
"It was basically drunken yobbo behaviour," Mr McFadden said.
On Saturday, February 7, they had been heavily drinking when the skies poured out. They enjoyed being drenched too, and they decided to take their fun further. They started cycling down to check on flood levels. Unfortunately for them, there were also others around in the area on a similar mission, well, they were
Police prosecutor Sgt Gordon Noble noted neither of the men had any lights on their bikes, and besides having no clothes on, were not wearing helmets.
"They had no reasonable excuse for their behaviour other than they were very drunk", Sgt Noble said.
He said the police explained to the pair their actions in such extreme weather were very dangerous, irresponsible and disorderly.
Lawyers for the pair told Mr McFadden the act was one of "high-spirited exuberance" and "larrikinism" and the men had genuinely thought they would not encounter anyone on the road.
(Larrikinism is the name given to the Australian folk tradition of irreverence, mockery of authority and disregard for rigid norms of propriety.)
Mr Fenn's lawyer Rowan Silva said his client accepted "in the light of day it was a silly act" and did not mean to cause offence.
Outside the court, the men said their wives had also thought they were "very silly" and the police officers who had caught them were "not amused."
The pair said somebody had managed to catch them pedalling in the buff on video but they were hoping it would not appear on video sharing website YouTube, Margo Zlotkowski reported for Cairns Post.
"Next time I'll at least wear a helmet," Mr Fenn added, tongue-in-cheek.