Newborn baby visit puts dad at risk

A NEW dad's trip to hospital to visit his newborn turned bad when he was pulled over driving while disqualified by court order.

Things went from bad to worse for Damian Parkes, with Ipswich Magistrates Court hearing he was in possession of drugs including ecstasy and valium.

The court heard police intercepted a Nissan Patrol at Riverview on October 11 last year.

Parkes admitted he did not have a licence, then confessed to having a small bag of marijuana in the back of his vehicle.

Police found a clip-seal bag on the floor that held green leafy material with a weight of 5.3 grams, the court was told.

Another clipseal bag held a Valium tablet, and a third bag held three MDMA tablets that were imprinted with a flower.

Dinmore dad Damian Jade Parkes, 26, pleaded guilty to driving while disqualified as a repeat offender, three charges of possession of dangerous drugs and possession of drug utensils.

Prosecutor Sergeant Brad Dick said digital scales were found in the centre console with Parkes saying he used them to weigh drugs.

Sgt Dick said Parkes had been disqualified from driving on April 18 last year.

"He says he shouldn't have been driving but wanted to go and see his girlfriend and their child in hospital," Sgt Dick said.

"He is on a suspended sentence for a disqualified driving offence."

Defence lawyer Matthew Fairclough said although Parkes' traffic history was nothing to be proud about "it is not the worst to be seen".

"It is an act of stupidity in the context of him becoming a father four or five days earlier," he said.

"The baby went into ICU and he was getting anxious.

"It was not an emergency and he lives with his mum."

Magistrate Rob Turra said Parkes had previous disqualified driving offences and it was "thumbing your nose at the orders of the court, and showing scant regard" that was the worst aspect of his offending.

Parkes was sentenced to one month jail on each of the drug offences, and three months jail for driving disqualified.

The sentence was added to his existing suspended three-month jail term which was then activated.

He received immediate parole.

Parkes was disqualified from driving for two years.

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