Serial disqualified driver jailed for ninth offence

A GYMPIE driver was jailed yesterday for his ninth disqualified driving offence.

Troy Christopher Gunders had been dealt the full range of court penalties since first charged with disqualified driving in 2005.

Fines, suspended sentences, intensive correction orders and even short stints behind bars have been sent Gunders' way in the past decade in an attempt to see him complete his disqualification period.

But yesterday it was clear the penalties had not worked when he appeared in court on the same charge yet again.

Gympie Magistrates Court heard Gunders was "flirting with an actual term of imprisonment" when he drove 300m on October 15.

He had decided to drive the short distance along Brisbane Rd to buy lunch for his daughters when he was caught by police.

Prosecutor Sergeant Lisa Manns said at the time Gunders was not only serving a five-year suspension for previous disqualified driving, but a six-month suspended jail sentence.

While the round-trip would have only taken Gunders just minutes to complete, Sgt Manns said he had to understand there would be severe consequences for ignoring court orders.

"(The defendant needs to be made aware that) there are severe penalties for not abiding by court orders," she said.

The court heard Gunders had been ignoring court orders since 2005 when he was disqualified and fined for driving without a licence.

Disqualified driving offences in 2006 and 2008 again drew fines, but a second offence in 2008 came with a 42-day jail term, wholly suspended for two years - which was breached in 2010 and served in full.

For his third offence in 2008, Gunders was ordered to serve a nine-month intensive correction order.

In 2011, he was sentenced to six months jail, with pa

role after two months and in 2012 he narrowly escaped more jail time with another six-month term, this time suspended for 18 months.

After breaching the previous sentence and having it extended by 12 months, he got lucky again in 2013 when charged again, this time getting six months jail with immediate parole.

With four jail terms under his belt, Gunders earned his fifth on October 15, all by sitting behind the wheel of a car.

The unfortunate, albeit stupid, decision to drive that day came after Gunders allegedly spotted his ex-partner and friends driving slowly past his home.

The court heard Gunders had allegedly been assaulted by his ex-partner's friends in the past and didn't want to risk it by walking.

A remorseful Gunders, who had since moved to Nambour, pleaded guilty but asked for leniency as he was single parent.

"You've been given a lot of chances," Magistrate Graham Hillan told Gunders.

"You've been given a lot of opportunities and you've breached them."

Gunders was sentenced to nine months jail and will be eligible for parole on May 6. He was also disqualified from holding a licence for five years.

Gympie Times

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