Gladstone man jailed after chasing dog on motorcycle
A SPLIT-SECOND decision to jump on a motorcycle to look for a runaway dog has earned a Gladstone man time behind bars.
Allan David Stewart, 27, will serve at least a month in prison after pleading guilty to unlicensed driving as a repeat offender at Gladstone Magistrates Court yesterday.
The court was told Stewart was living with a family at Barney Point on February 23 when the household dog escaped and ran down the street.
Stewart, who also pleaded guilty to driving an uninsured and unregistered vehicle, decided to jump on a motorcycle to catch up with the dog - despite being known to police and having racked up almost a dozen unlicensed driving offences over the past decade.
He was soon recognised by police patrolling the area, who saw him turn into Brisbane St, and later saw him running through the backyard and into the house.
Defence lawyer Jun Pepito said Stewart had a difficult upbringing since leaving home at 15, going in and out of prison just to have a roof over his head and three meals a day.
But he said Stewart had since turned his life around, was now in a relationship and at the time was living with a family who had taken him in.
Mr Pepito said the family had intended to register and insure the motorcycle before taking it on the road but could no longer do so as it had been impounded following the incident, causing them to ask him to leave.
Acknowledging his client was also on a suspended sentence at the time, Mr Pepito asked Magistrate Dennis Kinsella to impose a sentence of six to nine months in prison.
But he asked Mr Kinsella to set an immediate parole release date, noting his client had pleaded guilty and made full admissions to police.
Police prosecutor Senior Constable Balan Selvadurai did not agree with the submission, telling Mr Kinsella Stewart's conduct showed a completed disregard for the court's previous decisions and meant actual time in prison was necessary as a deterrent.
Mr Kinsella accepted Mr Selvadurai's submission, sentencing Stewart to three months for unlicensed driving and activating two month-long suspended sentences for failing to appear in court.
Stewart was also disqualified from holding a driver's licence for five months.