Disqualified driver caught again

A DIAMOND Valley man who had been disqualified absolutely from driving since 1993 was caught behind the wheel nearly every two years after that and again in Imbil on May 12.

Robert Bruce MacDonald, 48, had been driving a Ford Falcon along Yabba Road when he was stopped for a random breath test and it was discovered his licence had been disqualified many times by Queensland courts. At the time of driving he also had a blood alcohol concentration of .059 per cent. MacDonald told officers he had good reason for driving — his home had been shot up by people who were after him.

In Gympie Magistrates Court, police prosecutor Sergeant Jason Todman asked for MacDonald to be sentenced to six months in prison to be suspended for two years after serving three months. He suggested the new disqualification period on MacDonald's drivers licence be two years to “break the cycle” of unlicensed driving.

“He needs a light at the end of the tunnel. If he thinks he can get his licence back after two years he may toe the line,” he said and added that MacDonald could apply to have the absolute disqualification lifted after sitting out the next two years.

Defence solicitor Corey Jenkins said if his client was put in prison he would have to start all over again when he got out and tendered a psychiatric report outlining the progress MacDonald had made since he had received regular counselling.

Magistrate Maxine Baldwin read the detailed report and said it went into detail about MacDonald's tragic history. She agreed with Mr Jenkins that his client needed to continue with the intense therapy he had been receiving and told the court because of that, she was leaning more towards rehabilitation than a deterrent in deciding the penalty.

MacDonald was sentenced to a 12-month intensive corrections order, two months jail suspended for two years and was disqualified from holding a licence for 27 months.

Gympie Times


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