Last chance for disqualified driver

HE ‘jumped the gun' when nabbed on his fourth driving when disqualified offence, but Damien Chambers is now to rethink his offending ways after receiving a 10-month suspended jail sentence from Ballina Local Court Magistrate Kim Pogson.

Chambers, 35, a barman of Ballina, pleaded guilty yesterday to driving when disqualified at 9.30am on June 12 on the Pacific Highway at West Ballina.

Sadly for Chambers he only had a couple more weeks off the road to go before he would have been able to drive again legally following a previous conviction. He was also on a good behaviour bond

Mr Pogson disqualified Chambers from driving for a further two years – until July 28, 2012.

Defence lawyer Anthony Mannering said his client had been staying at a mate's house and wanted some breakfast so he borrowed his Nissan to go and buy some when he was stopped by police.

Mr Mannering acknowledged Chambers had nearly completed his licence disqualification period when he reoffended.

“He instructs me he simply did not think about it and got into a mate's car and drove,” he said.

“It is a case where he jumped the gun. It's not the first time he's driven when he shouldn't,” the lawyer acknowledged

“He has been going to a men's group and is also receiving counselling and feels he has been making progress in other aspects of his life.”

Mr Mannering pleaded for Mr Pogson not to act on the bond breach and to take into account his client would now be off the road for a considerable time, which would ‘drive home to him' he cannot drive when he shouldn't.

Mr Pogson said it was Chambers'  fourth offence, and while he would not take action on the bond a custodial sentence was now the only real option.

“Make no mistake, any offence in the next 10 months and you will go into custody,” he warned.

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