Coast man banned from driving for more than a decade

FOR the next 12 years, a Coast man will be unable to get behind the wheel after he was caught driving unlicensed four times in three months.

Brenden James Cullen pleaded guilty in Maroochydore Magistrates Court yesterday to 22 charges relating to driving and drug offences.

His flouting of the law began on April 22 when police caught him driving on a disqualified licence, in an unregistered and uninsured car with the wrong numberplates.

A confiscation notice was placed on Cullen's vehicle prohibiting it from being used for 90 days, but on May 6 he was pulled over again in Warana and officers found the notice sitting on the car's floor.

The car, which was unregistered and uninsured, was once again fitted with the wrong numberplates and during a search police found two grams of marijuana, a clip sealed bag containing white crystals and a drug pipe.

Just weeks later on May 25, when Cullen was spotted by police in the driver's seat of a car on Nicklin Way, he said he was trying to jump-start someone else's car.

Cullen admitted to police he was driving on a disqualified licence, in an unregistered, uninsured car with incorrect numberplates.

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A search of the car found .1 grams of ice, empty clip sealed bags and a gas burner used for smoking drugs.

The last time Cullen was caught driving disqualified was on June 24.

He was pulled over on his way to the Kawana Hotel and he tested positive to drugs.

Police also found scales and a drug pipe in the car.

Then, on July 12 during a search of a Mountain Creek home police found Cullen in possession of scales, a pipe and a straw.

A self-represented Cullen appeared in court via video link and said in his defence he had never lied to police or tried to evade them, although acknowledged he had a "problem with driving".

Cullen said he hadn't had a licence since 2010 which restricted him greatly in his work as a painter, but a friend was willing to hire him as a concreter once he got out of prison.

Acting Magistrate Andrew Walker, after reading out Cullen's extensive New South Wales driving history, fined him a total of $2870 and disqualified him from driving for 12 years - three years for each count of driving while disqualified.

While the disqualification periods are cumulative, Cullen will be able to apply to the court to have the orders set aside in two years.

He was further sentenced to 12 months imprisonment for each count of driving disqualified, three months for each count of drug possession, and one month for each count of possessing utensils.

Cullen will be eligible for parole on December 7.

Topics:  crime driving offence driving unlicensed fine maroochydore magistrates court prison

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