Pharmacy drive a bitter pill

MECHANIC Barnaby Rae has been ordered not to drive until 2015 following his fourth conviction for driving while disqualified.

He was caught by police driving to get painkillers to numb the ache of his throat ulcers.

Rae, 22, from Alstonville, pleaded guilty in Lismore Local Court yesterday to driving when disqualified in Uralba Street at 12.20pm on October 16 last year.

Police stopped the Suzuki Sierra that Rae was driving and issued a random breath test. He first told the officers his name was ‘Joshua Blainey’. When questioned further, he gave police his correct name and told them he was already disqualified until 2013.

Magistrate Robyn Denes fined Rae $600 for giving a false name and ordered him to complete 80 hours of unpaid community service. She disqualified him from driving for a further two years until April 17, 2015.

Defence lawyer Ben Robin said it would be of concern to the court that his client had three previous driving while disqualified matters committed over a nine-month period when he was aged 19. Mr Robin said Rae took a day off work with very painful throat ulcers and drove to a pharmacy only after trying to first (unsuccessfully) contact his girlfriend, his girlfriend’s mother, her grandparents, and even her sister to drive him, but no one was available.

“He drove only to get pain relief,” Mr Robin said.

However, the magistrate said there was a supermarket in Alstonville that stocked pain relief medication which he could have walked to.

Ms Denes said Rae had continued to disobey the orders of the court and warned the apprentice mechanic he was treading a very fine line with being sent to jail.

She said he had been flouting the community and so should give back to it by way of completing 80 hours’ work. “You can’t drive,” she said.

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