Repeat offender tradie must settle debt before driving
A TRADESMAN who was again caught driving while unlicensed this week told a magistrate it was because of a mounting debt from unpaid fines that he was unable to get back behind the wheel.
This time the mattress maker, Carlos Terry, was on his way to a birthday party when police grabbed him.
Going before Ipswich Magistrates Court on Wednesday, Carlos Jose Terry, 25, from Boronia Heights and previously Bellbird Park, pleaded guilty to driving when unlicensed as a repeat offender.
Prosecutor Senior Constable Narelle Lowe said police pulled Terry over at 6.45pm.
“He was the driver. He says he was not licensed and driving to a party,” Snr Const. Lowe said.
“He said he did have a bad feeling about driving that night.”
The court heard Terry had been placed on a suspended two-month jail sentence in September last year for a similar offence.
Defence lawyer David Gilmore argued for immediate parole, saying Terry had no criminal history.
Mr Gilmore said Terry represented himself in September and did not fully understand the court order or the seriousness of his position.
“His friend was driving his car first on the way to the party. His friend then said he believed he was over the alcohol limit,” Mr Gilmore said.
“In the circumstances he told him to pull over immediately.
“He took over to drive to a service station to buy food so his friend could then continue driving.
“He is employed. A very useful member of the community who makes beds, mattresses and works the graveyard shift.”
Magistrate Donna MacCallum asked if there was a reason why Terry did not obtain a driver’s licence.
“He has a huge SPER debt. He is told he has to pay if off in full. That is the reason he is unable to obtain a licence,” Mr Gilmore said.
Ms MacCallum noted Terry had a number of previous offences for driving when unlicensed.
“If you are able to borrow money to pay off the debt. You really need to get it paid,” she said.
Terry was convicted and sentenced to a one-month jail term.
Ms MacCallum activated his existing suspended two-month jail order, making the total sentence three months. Terry was granted immediate parole.
He was disqualified from obtaining a driving licence for three months.