Court rejects ignorance defence
A MAN has claimed ignorance of West Australian road rules after being convicted of driving with a suspended licence for a third time.
Appearing in custody at Rockingham Magistrates Court on January 22, Hamid Waheed had earlier been convicted in his absence for driving on a suspended licence after police caught him driving on September 25, 2017.
The prosecutor said this latest conviction was his third in less than a year. She said his car was seized by police.
The duty lawyer said the facts were accepted and Waheed came to Australia four years ago from Pakistan.
She said he found the laws ‘quite different here’ compared to Pakistan and he did not realise he would be in trouble if he continued to drive.
Magistrate Leanne Atkins rejected his defence.
“I find that difficult to believe – maybe once, but three times in one year? No,” she said.
The lawyer asked for fines as opposed to prison as he was working part-time and had a family to support.
Magistrate Atkins said he had ignored past court orders. “Fines are not working for you – according to our records you have $20,620.63 in outstanding fines,” she said.
“There is no other deterrent other than imprisonment for you.”
She sentenced him to seven months imprisonment suspended for 12 months and disqualified him from driving for 12 months.