News

Man, 87, with Alzheimer’s forgets he doesn’t have a licence

A MAN with Alzheimer's, who forgot he didn't have a licence and then drove his car, has had his charges dismissed in Hervey Bay Magistrates Court.

Kenneth James Ainsworth, 87, appeared in court on Wednesday facing charges of unlicensed driving, and failing to provide his identifying particulars to the police.

Mr Ainsworth was supported by his wife and daughter in court, with his wife telling Magistrate Graeme Tatnell she would speak on behalf of her husband, due to his struggles with Alzheimer's disease.

Mrs Ainsworth did not think much of her husband's charges, calling the notice to appear before the court and the notice to give identifying particulars a "...packet of poo tickets".

"I don't think I've ever heard to them referred to as packet of poo tickets," Mr Tatnell said, taken aback by the feisty woman.

Mr Tatnell then asked Mr Ainsworth if he understood the charges against him.

Mr Ainsworth said he did not.

"As far as I know, I've never lost my licence," he said.

Neither Mr and Mrs Ainsworth, nor their daughter, disputed the fact Mr Ainsworth had been caught driving without a licence, but Mr Tatnell expressed concerns about accepting a guilty plea.

Due to Mr Ainsworth's dementia, Mr Tatnell held that he did not have the capacity to enter a plea, and dismissed the charges.

Before doing so, however, Mr Tatnell made sure Mr Ainsworth's daughter understood the seriousness of the situation, and sought an undertaking from her that she would make sure her father no longer had access to car keys.

"It's a huge danger to the community," Mr Tatnell said.

The daughter said she understood, and would do all the driving for her father from now on.

Marcy Scarlett, the communications manager for Alzheimer's Australia (Queensland) said cases of Alzheimer's sufferers forgetting they were not supposed to drive was not unheard of.

She said there were a number of ways friends and family members could support sufferers of the condition and tips could be found online at fightdementia.org.au.

People can also phone 1800 100 500 for counselling or advice, Ms Scarlett said.

Topics:  alzheimer's, court, editors picks, hervey bay, licence, police



Can we trust them?

Women writing on paper with a pen on a white background.

Colin Claridge thinks the gene pool of good leadership is drying up

Plenty open this long weekend

The Gympie region will have plenty of shops open on Monday

Heaps open for long weekend

Monty and Heather are house hunting

TAKE ME HOME: Monty is looking for a "furever” home where someone who loves him will help him control his expanding waistline.

Pets up for adoption at Gympie RSPCA Animal Adoption Centre

Local Partners

Lady Gaga confirms Super Bowl show

Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga to perform in coveted spot

Girls actors give emotional tributes to hit show

Actor Allison Williams

Actors farewell smash hit HBO show Girls after six seasons

Janet Jackson's pregnancy is 'best thing'

Janet Jackson

Janet Jackson can't wait to become a mum

Jay Z signs two-year movie and TV deal

Rapper Jay Z

Rapper Jay Z has signed a television and movie deal

Nowhere to Hyde: Matt Nable is Australia's man in demand

Matt Nable stars as Detective Gary Hyde in the TV series Hyde & Seek.

NABLE returns to the small screen amidst busy film work.

Marvel's Luke Cage S1E7: Manifest review

Mike Colter in a scene from the TV series Marvel's Luke Cage. Supplied by Netflix.

*WARNING: spoilers if you haven't seen Marvel's Luke Cage*

Builder and roofer are cleared in faded roof case

CLEARED: a Gympie builder has been cleared of blame for sunscreen damage to a roof.

Gympie builder cleared over sunscreen damage claim

Beach-side real estate starts at $85k on Fraser Coast

HERVEY BAY REAL ESTATE: You can buy this townhouse in Scarness for under $300k.

Live your beach-living dream locally.

Gympie Century 21 owner forges his own path

ON THE ROAD TO SUCCESS: Billy Mitchell (right) with Queensland franchise manager at Century 21, Glenn Stanton.

It's been a meteoric rise over the past few years for Billy Mitchell

$40million hotel, shops development project for Mackay

Mt Pleasant hotel and retirement accommodation, proposed at 194-202 Malcomson St.

$40m development to take Mackay to 'the next level'

Huge Gunalda service station set to open by December

NEW STATION: The Gunalda Service Centre, owned by United Petroleum, will include a 350-seat eating area and a truckers lounge.

The massive servo is the biggest United development in Queensland.

Highway upgrade drives momentum in affordable market

Accessibility and affordability are keeping interest high