‘Deplorable’ debt of key figure in swanky restaurant
THE former manager of a swanky South Bank seafood restaurant has been fined almost $1000 in court today for driving without a licence for almost two years and using a mobile phone.
Morayfield resident Jon Constantinos Contoleon, 34, the former manager of Stokehouse Q's short-lived fish and chips offering Paper Fish, which closed last year after opening in early 2018, pleaded guilty to the two charges.
The court heard Contoleon's vehicle was intercepted on the Pacific Motorway at Slacks Creek on January 28 this year at 7.38am when he was witnessed on his mobile phone.
A licence check revealed Contoleon's drivers licence had expired 695 days prior.
Contoleon told police he had no reason to be on his mobile, he was simply talking to his wife and kids who live in Kuraby.
Defence lawyer Ali Rana told the court his client had attempted to renew his licence, but that he had been hampered by a triplet of suspensions, for demerit points, SPER debt and demerit points again, which meant his licence had lapsed.
He said the charge was caused by "inadvertence or imprudence", rather than deliberately.
Contoleon told the court he believed his SPER debt was about $11,000, but Magistrate Michael O'Driscoll handed him a summary showing his debt to be much greater than that, although the true amount was not read onto the record.
Mr O'Driscoll labelled Contoleon using his mobile while driving "just ridiculous" and that he had a "deplorable" criminal history.
The court heard Contoleon currently owned a seafood business in Caboolture and was active at southeast Queensland's fish markets.
Mr O'Driscoll spared Contoleon a suspension after hearing he had applied for a licence as of five days ago.
However, he warned TMR and the State Penalties Enforcement Register may not be so forgiving in light of his mountainous debt.
According to a January 2018 preview of Paper Fish's opening, Contoleon told the Courier Mail he had been operating fish and chips shops in southeast Queensland for more than a decade.
Originally published as 'Deplorable' debt of key figure in swanky Brisbane restaurant