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




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

National Sorry Day treads the long path to reconciliation

SAY HELLO : Kabi Kabi and Butchulla elder Aunty Lillian Burke says there is still much to be done to reach reconciliation  for indigenous Australians.

'If you’re in a cafe or a bank, just say hello'

Sweet times over as region’s pineapples see rough end

ROUGH END: Gary Franz helps take out the last pineapple crop at the Buchanan family’s Sandowne property at Goomborian.

'We’ve worked our guts out for next to nothing'

Latest deals and offers

Cameron Smith talks about 37 Origins

Cameron Smith, the most Origin games by a Queenslander.

Qld Captain Cameron Smith talks about his record-breaking 37 Origin appearances.

Pineapples

Peter Buchanan from Sandowne Pineapple company in Goomborian harvesting their last...

Malcolm Turnbull and Barnaby Joyce tour Rockhampton sweet potato farm

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce visit a...

Sale nears on last large block of land in Coolum

The 43.37ha property on South Coolum Rd has sold.

South Coolum Rd property to be land banked

Caloundra’s former Centrepoint Buffet site up for sale

FOR SALE: The home of the old Centrepoint Buffet

Restaurant fined for unhygienic practices closed months ago