Drink-driver had brother disqualified

WHEN Balnagowan man Robert William Steen was caught drink-driving in Walkerston he gave police his brother's name.

On September 8, 2014, the 64-year-old man kept up the pretence, and pleaded guilty to driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.053%.

His brother received a notice in the mail that his licence had been disqualified and contacted police.

Steen faced the District Court in Mackay today on charges of attempting to pervert the course of justice, fraud, driving under the influence and driving without a licence as a repeat offender.

He pleaded guilty to all charges.

Crown prosecutor Clayton Wallis said Steen had a history of dishonesty and traffic offences.

Defence barrister Scott McLennan told the court Steen was a "very sick" man who had been on a disability pension for 14 years.

He said a workplace accident in 2001 had left Steen with a fractured back.

Mr McLennan said Steen had been an alcoholic for most of his adult life.

In 2012, Steen received treatment for liver cancer, which had since returned.

Mr McLennan said Steen was awaiting chemotherapy, and was also on a waiting list for surgery on his cataracts.

Mr McLennan said on July 18, 2014, the day of his drink-driving offence, Steen had borrowed a friend's car to drive to Walkerston to purchase a newspaper and pick up prescription drugs.

He met a friend in Walkerston, had a few beers, and was breath-tested driving home.

Mr McLennan said since the incident Steen had "patched up things with his brother," who had forgiven him.

He asked that Steen receive a wholly suspected sentence of 12 months.

Judge Smith adjourned the matter for sentence to 9am today, to allow time to ascertain whether Steen would be able to receive chemotherapy in custody.


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