Man with ‘concerning’ history narrowly avoids jail time
A MAGISTRATE described a man's traffic history as one of the worst he had ever seen while sentencing him for a crime he committed three years ago.
Andrew James Marks narrowly avoided time behind bars after he pleaded guilty in Bundaberg Magistrates Court to one count of driving over the general alcohol limit and one charge of driving while disqualified by court.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Grant Klaassen told the court in November 2017 Marks was pulled over on Takalvan St for a random breath test.
His test returned a positive result with a reading of 0.083.
Checks also found Marks was also disqualified from driving from April 2015 until 2022.
The court heard Marks knew he shouldn't have been driving and was issued a notice to appear.
The court heard Marks was supposed to appear in court in January 2018, but didn't turn up.
As a result a warrant was issued which lead to Marks' arrest earlier this month.
Sgt Klaassen said Marks had a "concerning" history with multiple offences of a like nature including eight previous drink driving offences and seven disqualified driving offences.
He said imprisonment was the only appropriate penalty and submitted the term could be wholly suspended.
"There's been no offending for quite some time now," he said.
Marks' lawyer Matt Messenger told the court his client had previously had issues with ice and moved away from the area to get away from the drug and the associates he was using it with.
Mr Messenger said his client was now a father and wanted to be in his son's life.
He said Marks working, no longer used ice and was liaising with his GP.
"He's no longer putting his mother and his extended family through the trauma that can only come from being associated with someone in the grip of an ice addiction," he said.
"He's no longer that person."
Magistrate Andrew Moloney said while he took into account Marks' plea of guilty it did not come at an early opportunity.
"I have been hanging around court rooms since before 1990 and this is one of the worst traffic histories I have ever seen," he said.
"On one side you have avoided justice for almost three years on the other you stayed out of trouble and tried to rehabilitate yourself.
"So by the nearest of margins, you will not be going to jail today."
Mr Moloney also took into account Marks had not come to police attention until his arrest earlier in the month.
Marks was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment with an immediate parole release.
He was also disqualified from driving for two years.