MATTHEW Robinson was disqualified from driving for 12 months yesterday, then he walked straight out of the Mackay courthouse and sat alone in the driver's seat of his car.
His silver sedan was parked right outside the front steps of the courthouse in Brisbane St and it looked as if he was about to drive.
“Don't drive. You can't drive. You've been disqualified. You could go to jail if you drive,” I yelled out to him.
He got out and said: “Well how do I get my car home?
“I live just around the corner.
"I'm only going just up the road.”
I walked down to talk to him and told him: “Look. I'm with the newspaper. I'm doing you a favour. If you drive you could go to jail. You could get reported to police.”
The only advice I could give him was: “Get someone else to drive. A friend or workmate.”
There were several people on the courthouse balcony overlooking the street and eventually a security officer came out.
Both of us wrote down the registration number of the car.
Robinson went and sat back in the driver's seat and started texting and ringing on his mobile phone.
He got out again and walked into the foyer of the courthouse and asked the security officer what he could do.
The security officer said he told Robinson he could only tell him what not to do and that was: “Don't drive”.
Robinson said he was going to walk around to the police station to talk to them about how he could get his car home.
He came back to his car just after lunch and sat in the driver's seat again.
Late yesterday, his car had not been moved and he hadn't driven.
I wasn't sure if I had done the right thing, or maybe he thought I was a grumpy old man and a busybody.
But driving within minutes of being disqualified is certainly frowned upon by the courts.
And it happened on the same day we ran a front page story about a man who was jailed for 18 months for repeat disqualified driving.
Robinson lost his licence for 12 months after he pleaded guilty to riding a motorcycle dangerously.
He woke up one morning just before dawn and was running late for work.
Prosecutor Constable Janelle Young said he was speeding along Bridge Rd, Longair St, Milton St and eventually crashed into a car, which was doing a u-turn in front of him in Peel St. He admitted to police that he was travelling at up to 80kmh in 60kmh zones.
He was seriously injured in the collision and required 32 stitches to a bad leg wound.
During the trip he did a wheel-stand near the roundabout on Milton St.
Magistrate Damien Dwyer said the manner of riding the motorcycle was deliberate and dangerous, had occurred over a long distance of up to 1km and was at a time when there would be reasonable traffic.
“There is no excuse for what you did,” Mr Dwyer said.
“You've caused damage to other people's property and yourself.
“I've been told you'll probably lose your job over this but you have previous offences for speeding.”
In addition to the disqualification period, Robinson was fined $3250.
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