Heart attack claims dismissed

A MAGISTRATE has dismissed a disqualified driver's claim he drove only because he feared his mum was having a heart attack.

Damian Anthony Cumner, 42, of Townsville, pleaded not guilty in Bundaberg Magistrates Court yesterday to one charge of disqualified driving.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Barry Stevens said an officer pulled Cumner over driving a white Kia sedan, driving north on the Bruce Highway on December 24, 2009.

Cumner, who represented himself in court, said he believed his mother was suffering a heart attack and he chose to continue driving in the hope of finding medical attention.

This was despite him having driven through Gin Gin about 10 minutes before being pulled over.

Cumner conceded that his mother later drove the vehicle to Rockhampton and did not seek medical attention.

Sgt Stevens said a reasonable person would have returned to Gin Gin, rather than continuing to drive without knowing how far the next town was.

An interview recording between Cumner, his mother and the arresting officer was played in court.

Cumner's mother told the officer she had low blood pressure and declined his offer to call an ambulance, saying she would prefer to have a drink of water and sit down.

Magistrate Mark Morrow found Cumner guilty of driving while disqualified.

“My view is a reasonable person would have either stopped to check on the condition of the mother or returned to Gin Gin,” he said.

“If her condition was so bad, that should have been the option taken.”

Cumner was disqualified from driving for two years and a conviction was recorded.

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