APPALLING HISTORY: Norman Schodel pleaded guilty in Bundaberg Magistrates Court to a disqualified driving offence he committed almost two years ago.
APPALLING HISTORY: Norman Schodel pleaded guilty in Bundaberg Magistrates Court to a disqualified driving offence he committed almost two years ago.

Eighth time unlucky for man caught without licence

A magistrate has described a man's traffic history as one of the worst he's seen after he was caught driving without a licence for the eighth time.

Norman Stephen Schodel, 49, pleaded guilty in Bundaberg Magistrates Court today to one charge of driving while disqualified by a court order in 2018.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Dean Burgess told the court on September 14 police were doing patrols near Canoona and intercepted Schodel.

Schodel, who was the driver, gave officers a bank card as proof of his identity, telling police he was a disqualified driver and had never held a licence.

He told police he was helping his sister, who was also in the car, move to Bowen.

Sgt Burgess described Schodel's history as "appalling" and said he had received terms of imprisonment for similar offending in the past.

He said in 2018 Schodel received imprisonment with immediate parole for driving without a licence.

"Driving is not a right, it is a privilege and he was given the benefit then of an immediate parole release date," he said.

"He's committed the same offence while on parole.

"He's laughed at the court orders, penalty and sentences act and everything else and gone out and committed this offence again."

Sgt Burgess said serving actual time in jail was well within range as an appropriate penalty.

Schodel's lawyer Thomas Bray told the court at the time, his client was helping his sister move to Bowen as she had hand surgery and couldn't control the car herself.

Mr Bray said his client conceded his guilty plea did not come at an early opportunity.

He said Schodel had spent extended periods of time at sea working on trawlers.

He said Schodel co-operated with police and had not come to their attention for other offences since the incident.

Mr Bray said he accepted imprisonment was within range for his client and Schodel went to court "with his eyes wide open".

Magistrate Andrew Moloney described Schodel's history as "appalling" and one of the worst he had seen.

He took into account Schodel's plea of guilty came two years after the offence was committed and it happened 13 days before his parole was to finish.

"There is no allegation of dangerous driving, or anything to bring you to police attention, nor is there any allegation of substance misuse - which is about the only good thing that can be said for you sir," he said.

"You have eight previous convictions and it's appalling.

"The best way to protect the community it in the circumstances is to disqualify you for the maximum."

Mr Moloney told Schodel he could not drive until he passed a driving test.

"You cannot drive again until you disqualifications are all over, you pass a test and can drive a car - you are a danger to the community," he said.

Schodel was sentenced to nine months imprisonment which was suspended for three years.

He was also disqualified from holding or obtaining a licence for the maximum disqualification period of five years.


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