Driver jailed for crash that left rider in induced coma

KEVIN Andrew Leisha should never have been behind the wheel when he caused a crash on Baralaba-Banana Rd in 2014.

The Woorabinda man was disqualified from driving and over the limit at the time, after a night drinking with friends.

Leisha, 46, pleaded guilty to dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, causing grievous bodily harm while intoxicated, in the Rockhampton District Court on Thursday.

The court heard Leisha was travelling with five other people from Moura to Woorabinda on January 15, 2014 when he attempted to overtake a motorcycle, but clipped it in the process.

Crown prosecutor Dean Jones said Leisha had consumed 1.5L of a 4L cask of wine before driving and recorded a blood alcohol reading of 0.21.

The motorcycle rider was in an induced coma for several weeks.

He was released from hospital two months later. Mr Jones said he would rely on medication for the rest of his life and had been left with double vision in one eye, a compromised immune system and bad balance.

The rider is unable to drive and has not returned to work since the crash.

Mr Jones said Leisha's Queensland traffic history was three pages long and included four counts of driving under the influence and three counts of unlicensed driving.

He said a further six offences had been added since the accident.

Mr Jones told the court Leisha had also previously been convicted for grievous bodily harm offences.

Defence barrister Ross LoMonaco said Leisha was "drinking heavily" with friends in Moura, but was not driving initially.

About 20 minutes from Moura, someone in the car said the driver was acting dangerously, so Leisha started driving.

Mr LoMonaco said Leisha could only remember coming up behind a motorcycle quickly and having to overtake.

Leisha was jailed for 12 months after being convicted of disqualified driving following the crash, serving three months.

Mr LoMonaco said Leisha had experienced a "real issue with alcoholism throughout adult life".

He said the accident proved "a massive wake-up call".

Chief Judge Kerry O'Brien said the adverse effect of alcohol on Leisha's life was evident, but that attempts to rehabilitate were favourable.

But Judge O'Brien said Leisha had made a similar submission before court in 2005.

Leisha was sentenced to four years imprisonment, suspended after 16 months and disqualified absolutely from holding or obtaining a licence.



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