Dylan Stevens, 22, of Ballina, outside the Ballina Court House after being granted bail to appeal his jail sentence for driving offences committed while being a disqualified driver.
Dylan Stevens, 22, of Ballina, outside the Ballina Court House after being granted bail to appeal his jail sentence for driving offences committed while being a disqualified driver. Ross Irby

'Menace' man facing prison

A LEAD-FOOTED Ballina driver who was caught driving while disqualified three times and drink-driving twice was labelled ‘a menace’ by a Ballina Local Court magistrate who jailed him for nine months.

The jail sentence is now subject to appeal, with the driver released on $3000 bail.

Dylan Stevens, 22, pleaded guilty to a series of driving offences before Magistrate Kim Pogson last Thursday after being stopped by police at 2am on September 18 last year.

Police pulled over Stevens for speeding in ‘excess of 160km/h’ on the Pacific Highway south of Tweed Heads.

When questioned, Stevens told police he was test driving the black Holden Commodore SS V8. The car’s owner was a front-seat passenger who was also a disqualified driver.

Defence lawyer Amy Barker sought weekend detention for her client, saying he suffered a disability.

She argued he began offending in 2007 after turning to alcohol and drugs because he had a hard time accepting that an uncle had been charged with manslaughter.

Mr Pogson said Stevens had two previous drink-driving offences on his record.

“It is a shocking record. He has no regard for court directions,” he said. “His speed at 160km/h was a very dangerous combination as alcohol and speed don’t mix. The only appropriate sentence is full-time jail.”

For driving with a high-range PCA (of 0.156) on September 18, Stevens was disqualified for 12 months and jailed for six months. Mr Pogson fined Stevens $450 for driving an unregistered vehicle.

On the disqualified driving charge, Stevens was sentenced to 18 months’ jail, but ordered to serve a minimum non-parole of nine months, and was disqualified from driving for a further two years.

At the time Stevens, a horticulturist, was disqualified from driving until 2013 for previous drink-driving offences.

Stevens was caught again three weeks later on October 3 driving while disqualified in Ballina. For this offence he received a second 18-month jail sentence, with a nine month non-parole period, with all the jail sentences to be served concurrently.

Stevens was caught driving a third time on October 24 in Ballina. He was fined $2000 for mid-range PCA (0.085), $450 for driving unregistered, and disqualified from driving for another three years.

His severity appeal will be heard in the Lismore District Court on April 30.



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