Jail and 22-year drive ban for offender

By HELEN JACK

A FORMER Ballina man is now banned from driving for another 22 years as well as ordered to serve 16 months in jail for driving while disqualified yet again.

Daryl Watson, 46, now living in Iluka, was stopped by police at Woodburn on Easter Saturday during a random traffic check.

Police soon discovered Watson was not only driving with a suspended licence, he was also driving an unregistered and uninsured vehicle.

Watson was arrested and charged, appearing before Lismore Local Court on Tuesday. He applied for bail on the grounds his offence was not serious and he was not affected by drugs or alcohol at the time and was not driving dangerously.

But Magistrate Annette Sinclair said she could not overlook Watson's 13 previous convictions for driving while disqualified committed during the past 11 years and refused his application.

Immediately on hearing the news, Watson entered guilty pleas to the charges.

While sentencing Watson, Magistrate Sinclair said the way he was driving was not an issue but rather his worthiness to hold a driver's licence.

"He has continued to offend and I could not be satisfied he would not commit another offence and, if granted bail, I am not satisfied he would attend court," she said.

"He has had another custodial sentence imposed in 2006 and there are other matters before the court."

Magistrate Sinclair said Watson had only completed his custodial sentence in January.

"And here you are before the court today," she said.

"So the only sentence I can impose is imprisonment."

Watson will be eligible for release in March next year after serving a non-parole period of 12 months.

He is disqualified from driving for a further two years, making him eligible to drive in 2030.



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