GYMPIE MP David Gibson walked from a Brisbane courtroom yesterday with a driving record unstained by his conviction for unlicensed driving.
Mr Gibson received the minimum penalty of a $300 fine and a one-month ban from driving, after he pleaded guilty in the Brisbane Magistrates Court to a charge of driving on a suspended licence.
Mr Gibson lost his position as Police Minister in the new Campbell Newman Government, after a routine police check showed he had committed the offence on the Gateway Motorway at Eagle Farm on February 16.
His licence had been suspended after he failed to pay a fine to the State Penalties Enforcement Register.
In an affidavit filed to the court, Mr Gibson said he received two letters from SPER in July last year about his fine, but had not received the letter about suspending his licence from October 26.
Mr Gibson said he had only learned of his suspension, and the breach of it, when told personally by the Queensland Police Commissioner.
Mr Gibson's solicitor Andrew Wiseman said the magistrate had taken the unusual step of not recording a conviction, apparently because he was convinced Mr Gibson had already suffered significant consequences from an unintentional lapse.
Now relegated to the backbenches and forced to walk or use public transport, Mr Gibson says he will be effectively office bound for the duration of his new suspension.
Yesterday, he said he hoped the matter was now behind him.
"I hope that the decision today will effectively draw a line in the sand on this matter," he said.
"The simple facts are that I forgot to pay a speeding fine and as a result unknowingly drove whilst my licence was suspended," he said after yesterday's court appearance.
"The past few months have been a long and difficult time for both me personally and my family.
"I want to thank the people of Gympie, friends and especially my family for their support," Mr Gibson said in a statement.
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