Dad jailed for driving to feed his young son

A MAN'S lack of regard for court orders which had stripped him of a driving licence for two years led to him being jailed.

Geoffrey Robert Walker, 54, was jailed in the Toowoomba Magistrates Court yesterday after pleading guilty to the single charge of driving without a licence while disqualified by a court order.

Prosecutor Natalie Bugden said Walker was intercepted by Department of Transport inspectors about 10am on June 10 while driving on Balonne St, Crows Nest.

He readily admitted to inspectors he didn't have a licence at which point police were called, and checks found his licence had been disqualified by a court order for two years on July 28, 2015.

Walker told police he only drove to Crows Nest to buy food for his seven-year-old son for whom he had custody, and had previously arranged for others to give him rides into town.

However, that had not been possible that morning when he was caught driving the 20km from his rental property to Crows Nest.

Representing himself in court, Walker said he had previously received lifts with either the property owner or his partner and had not driven until June 10 since being disqualified.

But his relationship broke down in December and the property owner had been out of town at the time so he had little choice but to drive himself to get groceries.

After reviewing Walker's criminal history, Magistrate Bruce Schemioneck warned he was facing the prospect of jail time and asked if he would like the matter adjourned to consider legal advice.

"I don't think you'll be home going," Mr Schemioneck told him.

"I can't afford a solicitor," Walker replied.

Walker has three previous similar offences recorded on his criminal history which had included the vehicles he was driving to be impounded and forfeited.

Walker's licence had previously been disqualified for two years in November 2013 and again for two years in July, 2015.

After inquiring as to the welfare of Walker's son, Mr Schemioneck said his criminal history suggested he had little regard for the law.

Mr Schemioneck sentenced Walker to a total of seven months jail, to be eligible for parole on September 7.

The conviction was recorded.


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