COSTLY SECRET: Man loses licence until 2028

KEEPING his loss of licence a secret from his parents has landed Luke James Kelley behind bars and extended his disqualification period by 10 years.  

The panel beater from Booral worked at a family business which required him to drive, a court has heard.   

Too afraid to tell his dad about his wrongdoings, he opted to instead break the law more by driving on-the-job.  

The 25-year-old repeat road offender appeared in Hervey Bay Magistrates Court last week and pleaded guilty to two counts of driving while disqualified.   

He had already been court-ordered to stay off the road until 2023 when he was caught behind the wheel on February 26 and April 11.  

Both times he admitted to police that he knew he was committing a crime.   

The court heard Kelley's reason for driving when intercepted in February was to move his car from where "it could no longer be kept."  

On the April incident, he told police officers he was driving for work. He was on bail at the time for the February charge.   

Defence lawyer David Abrey said Kelley had been "fearful" to inform his parents of his situation, which led to him being pressured to drive.  

Kelley and his dad were the two people working on the business, with Kelley taking on a "more active role" of the pair.  

His parents have since found out about his road offending, and were present in court during proceedings.  

Kelley has recently moved in with his parents and they have gotten rid of his car to remove "all temptation" of driving from their son.   

Mr Abrey said Kelley had started seeing a counsellor recently.  

The lawyer told the court that Kelley's incarceration would most likely lead to the end of the family business.   

Kelley's car was also unregistered both times when he was intercepted by police.

He pleaded to three other charges in the court appearance, which included the two counts of driving an unregistered vehicle.  

The incidents breached a suspended jail sentence imposed on Kelley earlier.  

Kelley was sentenced to 12 months' jail, to be released on parole on June 15.  

He was disqualified from driving for five years for each driving while disqualified offence, which will run concurrent, meaning he has to stay off the road until 2028. 

A previous version of this story reported that the disqualification periods imposed on Kelley were cumulative. The story has been changed to state the disqualifications periods are concurrent. 



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