Defiance of court leads to jail

A DRIVER who continually flouted the law and defied court-ordered disqualifications has been jailed after appearing in Maryborough Magistrates Court.

James Close will spend one month behind bars after being caught driving disqualified on August 16.

The 43-year-old Maryborough man had driven to buy a train ticket so he could travel to Caboolture for work.

Close commuted to his job at a horse-racing complex, coming home on weekends to spend time with his family.

He was under a four-year court-ordered disqualification at the time of the offence.

Prosecutor Sergeant Craig Ryan said Close had previous convictions for disqualified driving for which he'd received suspended jail terms.

“He has had two opportunities of having a suspended sentence,” Sgt Ryan said.

“The community expects repeat offenders to be punished.

“There should be some actual term of imprisonment served.”

Close, 43, was represented in court by defence barrister Sarah Laikind.

She said he had a full-time job, cared for his disabled wife and had a troublesome teenage daughter.

Ms Laikind said Close chose to drive because his wife was sick in bed.

Close's employer also spoke in court to try to convince the magistrate not to jail him.

The employer described Close as “one of the greatest horsemen I've ever seen” and said he would provide assistance with transport if Close was released.

But Magistrate Dennis Beutel said time behind bars was the only appropriate penalty “to bring home to you that you need to comply with orders of the court”.

“You have offended time and time again,” Mr Beutel said.

Close was sentenced to nine months in jail and ordered to serve one month of that in custody.

The remaining eight months was suspended for an operational period of two years.

He was also disqualified from driving for five years.



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