Dad's night run for sick kids ends in headache

A DAD who ducked down to the service station at midnight to get headache pills for his children was caught out running the gauntlet.

Father of 10, Gene Merrick, was only four days away from being able to get his licence back, after serving a court-ordered disqualification.

Merrick, 38, from Fernvale, pleaded guilty in Ipswich Magistrates Court to driving when disqualified on the Brisbane Valley Highway at Fernvale on June 10. Prosecutor Sergeant Tracey Laing said police were parked at a Fernvale service station and saw Merrick arrive.

A check revealed he was disqualified for one month between May 14 and June 13.

"I just had a couple of sick kids. I just had to go and get some medication," Merrick told Magistrate David Shepherd.

"I did not know what to do so I went to get Panadol.

"I'm a carer for my missus and two autistic kids. Six kids under my care. Ten kids all up.

"We have to get to doctor's appointments, specialists to get to. If I get disqualified for two years we won't get to any of them."

While sympathetic to his plight, Mr Shepherd said there was no option other than a mandatory two-year disqualification. He substantially reduced the fine to $400.



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