Court alarmed at repeated drive offences
A DAD banned from driving has been told he now holds the key to his own jail cell.
An Ipswich magistrate warned repeat disqualified driver Toiva Burgess that his history of traffic offences was "truly alarming” and he was a genuine risk of doing actual time inside if he ignored the court's orders again.
His fifth and sixth disqualified driving offences scored him six-month jail terms, with the benefit of immediate parole.
It was added to an existing suspended sentence, making it a total of 14 months' jail, which will hang over his head.
The motive behind one of his decisions to drive was to get his pregnant wife to hospital for a check-up.
Toiva Enele Burgess, 24, from Redbank Plains, pleaded guilty in Ipswich Magistrates Court to unlicensed driving when disqualified by a court order at Redbank Plains on April 4; driving when disqualified as a repeat offender at Bellbird Park on June 4; and driving an unregistered and uninsured motor vehicle.
The offences also breached a two-year probation order.
Prosecutor Acting Sergeant Bernard Elmore said the offences were aggravated as Burgess was already on two suspended jail sentences of eight months at the time for similar offences, suggesting "a contemptuous attitude”.
"He walks around with a ticket to jail. He simply cannot get behind the wheel for three years,” Sgt Elmore said.
"This will be his fifth and sixth disqualified drive offences.”
Defence lawyer Matthew Fairclough said Burgess was the breadwinner for his family with two infants to support, and tended references including one from a church minister.
He said that in one driving offence Burgess explained to police that he drove to hospital because his wife was pregnant and not able to drive.
Mr Fairclough said Burgess was a New Zealand citizen who had lived in Australia for the past three years.
Magistrate Kurt Fowler said he must accept that the court had considered Burgess's previous offences so serious that it imposed eight month jail terms that were suspended for two years.
Mr Fairclough said he was on probation at the time for a similar offences that were heard with criminal charges.
Mr Fowler said he noted the reference to his wife being pregnant at the time of one driving offence.
"Your traffic history is alarming sir, it truly is,” Mr Fowler said.
"To receive periods of imprisonment and so soon after be caught again is alarming.”
Burgess was sentenced to two sentences of six months' jail, to be served concurrently, and disqualified from driving three years.
He was fined $800 for breaching his probation order.
Mr Fowler activated the previous suspended sentences of eight months, ordering they be added to the new sentence.
Burgess was allowed immediate parole and he remains subject to a probation order.