Ex-soldier suffering from PTSD after Afghanistan fined $3K
AN ARMY veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after a tour in Afghanistan has been dealt with in court after breaching a domestic violence order and driving drunk.
The 37-year-old ex-soldier and father of seven pleaded guilty to four charges in the Bundaberg Magistrates Court on Tuesday, putting him in direct breach of a 12 month probation order he was on for a previous breach of a domestic violence order.
The court heard while the most recent DVO contravention was at the lower end of the scale, it was an aggravated offence given he'd breached the same order in August 2017. On that occasion, actual violence was at play.
The man, who cannot be named, was found by local police on May 16 when officers spoke to him about the latest breach.
At that time he admitted to texting the aggrieved - the mother of five of his children - multiple times and trying to call her on May 8.
In a police interview, the man said he'd known about the order prohibiting him from having contact with the woman, even via text, but thought it had expired given it was put in place in November 22, 2017.
Police prosecutor Senior Constable Andrew Blunt said the man also admitted he was "probably drunk (at the time) and made a 'boo boo'".
Several weeks later on June 30, patrolling cops stopped the man for a breath test.
During the roadside stop, it was revealed his licence had been disqualified for three months total after he was caught driving without a licence in both January and March of this year.
He also returned a positive breath test, blowing a blood alcohol content reading of .210 per cent.
The man was also dealt with yesterday for failing to appear in court on August 23.
A week after the missed court date, police spoke to him about the matter at Hinkler Shopping Centre, where he confessed he'd been sick on the day but had gone to the courthouse later in the day, only to find out he'd missed court.
Defence lawyer Rian Dwyer said his client had suffered from PTSD ever since his return from one tour in Afghanistan.
He said the man joined the army in 1999, when he was 18, and left in 2006.
Mr Dwyer added his client, who was employed at a local car detailing business, was taking medication for PTSD but had an issue with alcohol, drinking every day he wasn't at work.
"He (also) had a stroke three weeks ago and spent one-and-a-half weeks in hospital," he said.
The court heard this was the third time the man breached a DVO in the past 12 months. His second breach in time, in December, resulted in fines.
Magistrate Neil Lavaring fined the man $3000 for the aggravated contravention of a domestic violence order and the two driving offences and disqualified him from driving for one year.
The domestic violence order in which the man was a respondent in has now expired.