Escorting dog leads to arrest

BUSTED for driving while disqualified Tony Stewart left the Lismore Court House after his hearing but when he and his dog ‘missed the bus’ home he chose to drive to Coraki despite being a disqualified driver.

Stewart, 28, of Coraki, was back before Lismore Local Court this week charged with another driving disqualified offence.

He was criticised by a disbelieving and clearly annoyed magistrate Robyn Denes who told him that what he did was a blatant disregard of court orders.

When defence lawyer Rachael Thomas told the court her client missed the bus and chose to drive home, Ms Denes inquired if he had also driven from Coraki to the court on the morning of that offence.

Ms Thomas said no, saying Stewart previously left the car at his mother’s house in Lismore and after missing the bus went there and got it.

She said Stewart (and his partner) had a dog with them that day so they went to his mother’s to get the car.

“It is not an excuse he is proud of. He was forthcoming with the police,” she said.

Ms Thomas said her client acknowledged the offence took place on the day he appeared in court on a drive disqualified charge.

Although it appeared to be a blatant disregard of court orders Stewart had turned his mind ‘to options’ before deciding to drive.

Stewart pleaded guilty to driving disqualified on November 23 last year at Wyrallah, and to driving an unregistered and uninsured car.

Ms Denes jailed Stewart for seven months, immediately suspended, to be of good behaviour for seven months.

She disqualified Stewart from driving for a further two years, from August 2014 to August 29, 2016.



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