Driver slapped with jail sentence for multiple charges
A FATHER-of-three has been sentenced to six months imprisonment with immediate parole release after he was busted for a string of driving offences at Hatton Vale.
Charles Dorante pleaded guilty to five offences in the Gatton Magistrate's Court on Monday, after he drove unlicensed, disqualified, uninsured, unregistered and used stolen plates to get to work.
Police prosecutor senior sergeant Al Windsor said Dorante was pulled over by police on the Warrego Highway at Hatton Vale on August 25, after conducting routine checks on the vehicle's plates.
Senior sergeant Windsor said Dorante's Huyundai Tucson had different plates on the front and back of the car, which immediately raised suspicions by police.
The Bundamba man told police he did not have a licence, and checks revealed to the officers that the father-of-three had received a suspended sentence for disqualified driving.
A check of the vehicle's VIN revealed the car was unregistered at the time and had been in excess of the 30-day period, meaning it was also uninsured under the compulsory third party insurance laws.
Dorante told the officers he knew the plates did not belong to his vehicle and had bought them from a friend.
Senior sergeant Windsor said checks on the plates revealed they had been removed from two separate vehicles.
In court, Dorante submitted a written statement which said he had withdrawn $10,000 from his superannuation this year to support him and his family during his period of unemployment.
Representing himself in court, Dorante said he knew he had done the wrong thing but could barely cover his bills without work.
Dorante now has a job as a furniture removalist and catches the train to get there, the court heard.
Magistrate Graham Lee was visibly distressed reading Dorante's previous traffic history, noting before the court Dorante's suspended sentence for disqualified driving.
Mr Lee stood the matter down and referred Dorante to duty Lawyer James Ryan.
After consulting Mr Ryan, Dorante reappeared before the court.
Mr Ryan said his client on the day of the offence went to work as he was desperate for a day's income.
The 40-year-old pays child support for his three children aged 17, 11 and nine and sees them on a regular basis, Mr Ryan said.
Mr Ryan said Dorante did not appreciate at the time how seriously disqualified driving was viewed by the law and that it was in contempt of a court order.
He said Dorante's issues with disqualified driving had only arisen following his traumatic separation from the mother of his children.
Magistrate Lee said the most serious offence of the five charges was the disqualified driving charge which carries a maximum penalty of 18 months imprisonment and disqualification period of two to five years.
Mr Lee sentenced Dorante to six months imprisonment for disqualified driving and disqualified him from holding a licence for 30 months.
Dorante received an immediate parole release for the 6 months imprisonment.
Dorante was convicted and not further punished for the offences of driving while unregistered and with plates from another vehicle.
He was convicted and fined $250 referred to SPER for driving uninsured, with the conviction recorded.