Repeat offenders line up in court

AS a number of repeat offending, disqualified drivers filed through Gympie Magistrates Court on Thursday, Magistrate Maxine Baldwin said she should have lined them all up to fire her lecture just once.

“If I had known you were all coming together I would’ve lined you all up in a row,” she said to Nathan Dennis Collins, 36, who was facing a jail term for driving while disqualified on April 21.

The court heard Collins had been disqualified from driving by a New South Wales magistrate in 2002 for 17 years, however a traumatic experience of finding a dead body in Gympie had led him to get behind the wheel and drive that day.

The vehicle he was driving was stopped by police on Glastonbury Road.

“You have already served a custodial sentence for this type of offence,” Mrs Baldwin said. She convicted and sentenced Collins, of Sorensen Road, Southside, to six months in prison, suspended for two years.

Before him was Robert John Birch, 22, whose licence had been disqualified for two years in September, 2008.

He had just four months to go when his vehicle was stopped by police in Gympie on May 25. He told Mrs Baldwin he had listened to what she had told other defendants and realised he was headed for prison if he drove again. Birch, of Moore Street, Victoria Point, was placed on probation for 12 months and was disqualified from driving for another 30 months.

Charged with three disqualified drives, Thomas Robert Williams narrowly missed out on going to jail for his “blatant disregard of the law” and was placed on an intensive correction order for six months and sentenced to three months in jail suspended for two years.

“It seems to me you don’t have any concept of obeying the road rules... you knew very well when you were driving you were risking going to jail,” Mrs Baldwin said. “Your traffic history is abysmal... you owe $8652 to SPER for outstanding fines.”

The court heard Williams, of Tansey Road, Kilkivan, had been disqualified from driving for six months from October last year when he was caught behind the wheel in Gympie on May 12, and again on May 13 and May 15.

Williams was told to complete 40 hours of community service for two charges of driving an unsafe vehicle.

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