East Deep Creek man avoids jail

THE case of a lapsed driver's licence late last year led an East Deep Creek man to face a number of criminal charges dating back more than a decade.

Mardi John Morrison, 40, pleaded guilty in Gympie Magistrates Court on Tuesday to a string of charges committed in Toowoomba over a six month period in 2001 and 2002.

The charges came to light when Morrison was found driving without a licence at Cooyar on December 12, last year.

They included possession of property suspected of being tainted on March 13, 2001, when a number of electronic goods which had had their serial numbers removed were found at Morrison's Toowoomba property, and producing false documents at a Vodafone store on November 21, 2001, and a Telstra shop on November 22, 2001, in an attempt to dishonestly obtain a free phone on a contract at Toowoomba.

The Gympie Magistrates Court also heard Morrison used a fake name on December 2, 2001, when he checked in to a Toowoomba motel and left without paying the following morning.

He also faced seven driving charges, including driving unregistered, uninsured and unlicensed at Toowoomba on November 11, 2001, and at Darling Heights on January 4, 2002.

On May 24, 2002, Morrison failed to appear at Toowoomba Magistrates Court.

The court heard he had not committed an offence in 13 years and, after self rehabilitating, had held down a secure job since 2002.

Gympie magistrate M. Baldwin acknowledged Morrison's positive contribution to society since his rehabilitation but said:

"Not only did you do the crime; you refused to do the time."

Morrison was sentenced to 14 days prison, suspended for six months.

A previous suspended sentence of one month jail with a six month suspended sentence was activated in full when Morrison failed to appear in Toowoomba Magistrates Court in 2001.

The sentence was extended by six months with a parole release date of last Tuesday, April 7.

For twice falsely representing himself Morrison was given one month's jail, suspended for six months, to be served concurrently with another month's jail, also suspended for six months.

He was fined a total of $4334 for possession of tainted property, breaching bail, personation, fraud and the driving offences.

Morrison was ordered to pay $158 restitution and a conviction was recorded for the most recent charge of driving without a licence.

Gympie Times

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