Fined for driving away from court

A MAN who lost his licence for drink driving and then drove away from court was picked up in a police operation to catch disqualified drivers after they leave court.

Craig Hughes pleaded guilty to driving without a licence, disqualified and unlawful possession of a void licence.

Police Prosecutor Senior Constable Troy Daubaras said Hughes told the police prosecutor he didn’t have his licence on him to hand in when he was disqualified earlier in the month but when pulled over outside the court on the same day he pulled out his licence and showed it to police.

He was alleged to have been unco-operative with police and argumentative.

He told police the magistrate gave him permission to drive home from court. Barrister David Murray said his client told him in New Zealand, where he was from, people who are disqualified are allowed to drive home from court with their disqualification starting at midnight that night and he thought it was the same here.

Magistrate Damian Carroll told the defendant he would have told him he couldn’t drive home when sentencing.

“If I disqualify you it begins from when I tell you. I make it very plain to all defendants and there will be very serious consequences if you drive again,” he said.

Hughes was fined $1600 or 21 days jail with a two-year disqualification to follow on from the last disqualification.

“My client is aware that he can’t drive from this point on,” Mr Murray said.



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