Driver jailed over naked, vacuum cleaner part-wielding police pursuit

A NAKED man who led police on a 25-kilometre pursuit before assaulting an officer with the pipe of a vacuum cleaner has been jailed for 12 months.

Michael Scott, 47, pleaded guilty in Ballarat Magistrates Court yesterday to more than 20 charges, including dangerous driving, failing to pull over and assault with a weapon.

The court heard the Adelaide man was intercepted by police on the Sunraysia Highway near Learmonth on February 13 this year after police recorded him travelling 155km/h in a 100km/h zone.

When told by police that his car would be immediately impounded, Scott drove off from police and continued to lead them through Learmonth and then Ballarat, before finally pulling over in the car park of the Sebastopol McDonald’s restaurant.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Pepe Brown said the man was naked while driving and wielding the pipe of a vacuum cleaner.

Senior Constable Brown said at one point Scott waved the pipe of the vacuum cleaner out of the sunroof of his BMW sedan. A sarong he was wearing had fallen off when it snagged on the handbrake. 

When the man pulled over in Sebastopol he struck a male police officer with the vacuum cleaner pipe.

He was finally subdued with capsicum spray.

Scott’s defence lawyer Jon Irwin said his client, who earns money busking, had in the past used the vacuum cleaner pipe as a musical instrument.

Mr Irwin said Scott had significant mental health issues and at the time of the offence “had been on the cusp of a manic episode”.

He said Scott led police for so long because he wanted to get to the McDonald’s which would have cameras to capture the moment.

“My client has a deep mistrust of police officers,” Mr Irwin said.

In sentencing Scott, magistrate Michelle Hodgson said it had been fortunate no one was killed during the pursuit.

She sentenced him to 12 months in jail with a non-parole period of six months. He was also fined $300

A Courier reader captured this image of Michael Scott being pursued by police in February.

A Courier reader captured this image of Michael Scott being pursued by police in February.