Crash driver on track to jail
DISQUALIFIED driver Shaun Withers was too busy looking over his shoulder at a police car when he ran off the road and crashed through a fence.
It was well after midnight and he knew he shouldn't have been driving when he saw a mobile police patrol in an Ipswich street.
Shaun Allan Withers, 31, from One Mile, pleaded guilty in Ipswich Magistrates Court to driving a car without proper control at Newtown on October 24; driving unlicensed when court disqualified; and failing to appear at court.
The court heard Withers driving history was simply "appalling”.
Prosecutor Senior Constable Narelle Krushka said it was 1.30am when officers on patrol saw a dark coloured sedan they had seen earlier.
It was then seen to have crashed through a house fence in Newtown at 13 Frederick Street.
"There were two males and one tried to cover himself in the rear of the car,” Snr Const Krushka said.
"He (Withers) admitted to being the driver and his mobile phone was on the front seat.
"He says he was deciding whether or not to drive off as he was not licensed. And looks over his back shoulder at the police car and he loses control.
"The car veers over the gutter and into a fence.
"He says he was just driving a friend home.”
Defence barrister Geoffrey Seaholme acknowledged Withers "has a somewhat unenviable criminal and traffic history”.
"His friend had been at his house drinking and had no money for a cab so he made the foolish decision to drive him home,” Mr Seaholme said.
He said Withers surrendered to the court after previously failing to appear.
Magistrate David Shepherd said Withers' traffic history was appalling and he continued to show complete disregard to the driving laws and to orders made by the court.
"You were disqualified by the court and you were involved in an accident and it was fortunate it did not result in harm to anybody,” Mr Shepherd said.
"With regard to your history a serious penalty needs to be imposed.
"It needs to be understood that a court order must be complied with.
"If you want to go to prison this is the quickest way.
"And you were on a suspended sentence for failing to appear at court.”
Mr Shepherd sentenced Withers to one month jail, and disqualified his licence two years for driving when disqualified.
He activated a suspended sentence (of one month) imposed for failing to appear. It was added to make two months.
Withers was granted immediate parole with the two month jail term to hang as an incentive to behave.
Mr Shepherd fined Withers $500 for not having proper control of his car and disqualified his licence two months.
It is up to Queensland Transport if the two month disqualification is added to the two year disqualification.