Brenda Strong

Man who blew 0.32 has sentence appeal rejected

A SURAT man who blew more than six times the legal limit has had his appeal against his three-month jail sentence rejected in a higher court.

Maranoa Regional Council worker James Patrick Abberton, 54, pleaded guilty in the Roma Magistrates Court in April to two drink-driving offences stemming from an incident on December 23 last year.

The court heard Abberton had been drinking at the Royal Hotel at Surat when he "innocently" began flirting with the barmaid.

Her boyfriend and another man confronted him about it.

The disagreement continued outside in the carpark where Abberton reversed his car and struck the boyfriend.

The court heard the boyfriend was hit with such force it knocked him to the ground and pushed him for about a metre or so along the gravel driveway.

Abberton later registered a blood alcohol reading in hospital of 0.32%.

He appealed his sentence on the grounds it was manifestly excessive and a miscarriage of justice had occurred.

The Ipswich District Court, during a hearing in October, allowed new evidence to be produced surrounding Abberton's elderly parents' serious medical conditions, disabilities and their dependency on their son.

Abberton claimed if the evidence was available to the sentencing magistrate it showed mitigating factors which could have influenced the penalty.

Judge Sarah Bradley disagreed.

She said, in dismissing the appeal last week, the extremely high blood alcohol reading, the fact he knocked over a pedestrian and his previous, albeit dated, convictions for drink-driving called for a significant penalty.


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