Disqualified driver crashes unregistered bike

A DISQUALIFIED rider and his girlfriend were lucky to escape serious injury when they were involved in a motorcycle crash, an Ipswich court has heard.

James Leader was carrying his girlfriend as a pillion passenger, despite the court hearing he was disqualified from holding a licence and riding an unregistered bike.

Appearing in Ipswich Magistrates Court, James William Leader, 30, from Ripley, pleaded guilty to drink-driving when unlicensed; failing to have proper control of a vehicle at Swanbank on March 17; driving when disqualified by court order; and driving an unregistered and uninsured vehicle on Newhill Drive.

Prosecutor Acting Sergeant Courtney Boss said Leader had two recent drink-drive offences and was disqualified for three months. His passenger was admitted to hospital as a result of her injuries.

Sgt Boss said a probation order might assist Leader with an apparent alcohol problem.

Defence lawyer Sebastian Jennings said Leader had gone to alcohol and drug assessment classes at Princess Alexandra Hospital.

The court heard the forklift driver was deeply remorseful.

"He instructs that in his view he has an issue with alcohol and has started to address these alcohol issues with a program at the PA Hospital," Mr Jennings said.

"Has been completely sober for six weeks and wants to continue on that.

"He has sold his vehicle to remove any temptation to drive."

Magistrate David Shepherd said his efforts to address the problem were in his favour and it was fortunate that neither he nor his pillion passenger had been severely injured.

Mr Shepherd noted previous drink-driving convictions.

He said it was not clear if alcohol had been a contributing factor in the recent accident, but there was simply no excuse for defying court orders by driving when disqualified.

Leader was fined $750 and sentenced to 12 months' probation. His licence was disqualified for two and a half years.