Court re­jects ig­no­rance de­fence

Weekend Courier - - Street Watch -

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.

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