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Dad expecting jail failed to organise care for kids

Repeat Disqualified Driver Nathan Warburton outside the court after warned he faces jail. Nathan Warburton Photo Ross Irby / The Observer
Repeat Disqualified Driver Nathan Warburton outside the court after warned he faces jail. Nathan Warburton Photo Ross Irby / The Observer Ross Irby

WARNED jail was on offer for his ninth offence of driving when disqualified, a desperate dad was sent home by a Gladstone court magistrate to make final arrangements for his kids's care.

His sentence postponed until the next day, Nathan Warburton was a no-show.

A very disappointed and frustrated Magistrate Robert Walker issued an immediate arrest warrant.

Warburton, 36, an unemployed single dad, was fully aware he would likely be jailed before attending court that previous afternoon and it was a shock to the court when Warburton revealed he had made no preparations for his children's welfare.

He told the court he would make a phone call to a government agency and have them collected at school.

His behaviour was compared to emotional blackmail by disgusted prosecutor Sgt Barry Stevens.

Already late afternoon, Mr Walker said he was concerned about the trauma caused to the children if not prepared that their father may not come home.

"It's almost emotional blackmail," Sgt Stevens said.

Mr Walker told Warburton allowing him to leave the court would in no way avoid the outcome.

Warburton pleaded guilty to driving a car in South Gladstone on September 5 when unlicensed due to disqualification; driving a car with numberplates issued to another motor vehicle; and driving an unregistered and uninsured vehicle.

Sgt Stevens said Warburton's licence was disqualified in 2013 for three years and he had eight previous offences of driving when disqualified - the last two with jail terms.

He told police he only bought the car, then got the false plates from a mate.

Sgt Stevens said he knew the risks that jail would be likely if he reoffended yet Warburton still drove.

Moments earlier defence lawyer Jun Pepito said Warburton was in a very precarious situation and he'd explained jail was in range.

"What arrangements are there for the care of these children given the inevitable outcome of this matter," Mr Walker asked.

"Where will they be tonight?"

Saying that he was quite concerned, Mr Walker said he would adjourn to allow proper arrangements to be made. Adjourning sentence, Mr Walker said this was so the children did not face the trauma of being told out of the blue that their dad was not coming home for a while.

However, when Warburton failed to return the next day Mr Walker said he had had no option but adjourn the previous day to allow safe care arrangements be made.

"I'm now very disappointed in this situation," Mr Walker said.

Topics:  court, crime, dad, editors picks, gladstone, jail




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