Christmas Day away in a jail cell

A MARYBOROUGH father will spend Christmas behind bars after being caught driving unlicensed in Tinana.

Mark Jeffery Smith’s past caught up with him when he was pulled over on Iindah Road West on November 26.

The 36-year-old was wanted for failing to appear in a Brisbane court in 2001.

He was facing charges of dishonestly obtaining $24,000 from the Westpac bank in June and July 2001, possessing a 22cm retractable-blade knife outside the bank in July 2001 and contravening a direction by providing a false name to police.

He tried to evade detection again last week by providing a false name when he was caught driving on Iindah Road West.

But police figured out who he was and took him into custody.

Smith was charged with contravening a direction, driving unlicensed and driving an unregistered and uninsured car on November 26.

He told his solicitor, Tamara Kurle, that he drove to get a prescription for his daughter.

Smith was also charged with contravening a direction, driving unlicensed and driving an unregistered and uninsured car on September 25.

He was intercepted on Gympie Road that day for a breath test and licence check. He told police he was driving home after taking his children to McDonald’s.

Prosecutor Sergeant Michael Quirk said Smith was a habitual offender who tried to evade detection by giving false names to police. Sgt Quirk said a jail term was the only appropriate sentence.

“Any other penalties he’s been given have been breached,” Sgt Quirk said.

Defence solicitor Tamara Kurle said Smith was on a methadone program and was trying to get his life back on track.

She said his lack of crime over the past year showed he was making a genuine effort to move forward with his life.

Magistrate John Smith, however, was not convinced.

“He’s told so many porkies I don’t know what to believe,” Mr Smith said.

He sentenced Smith to three months’ jail for failing to appear in the Brisbane Magistrates Court and set a parole release date of December 26.

The charge of dishonestly obtaining money was adjourned.

Smith was fined a total of $4900 and disqualified from driving for 18 months for the other charges.



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