Ipswich Magistrates Court
Ipswich Magistrates Court Rob Williams

Retiree jailed for 18th offence

A 75-YEAR-old Ipswich man has been sentenced to 15 months in prison after being convicted of his 18th disqualified driving charge.

Thomas Eric Anderson has notched up an appalling traffic resume which is littered with both disqualified driving and high level drink-driving convictions, dating back to 1975.

Ipswich Magistrates Court heard Anderson's latest offence occurred on August 23 as he was driving his wife to the airport.

When police picked him up at Gailes he gave a false date of birth and said he was unlicensed before police discovered his real age and that he was disqualified.

Police Prosecutor Sergeant Jo Colston said Anderson's seven page traffic history was "one of the worst" she'd ever seen.

Defence lawyer Simone Healy said her client was taking his wife and young son to the airport because the taxi was delayed.

"He made the silly decision to drive after being told of a 45 minute wait for the taxi leading him to believe his wife would miss her flight," Ms Healy said.

"He is married to a lady who is Chinese and was in Australia on a temporary visa.

"She is due back in the country in eight weeks and the main concern is for his family, and that his wife and son are looked after.

"His traffic history is appalling and I'm not here to present excuses.

"But it has been some three years since his last disqualified driving conviction."

The court heard Anderson had convictions for disqualified driving coupled with high range drink-driving on July 31, 2008, once each year in 2007 and 2005 (disqualified driving only), and three times in 2004.

Magistrate Virginia Sturgess said Anderson should have learnt something from the past four decades of committing offences.

"You don't seem to have learnt anything Mr Anderson," Ms Sturgess said.

"You have had numerous sentencing options but you have not learnt from any of those options.

"The purpose of this sentence is to punish you and deter you and other persons from committing those offences and that the community, acting through the court, denounces this sort of offending."

She told Anderson "if you haven't learnt by this age you can't drive" then he'd probably never learn.

"I suspect you may never get your licence back," she said.

Anderson will be paroled after serving a third of his sentence, on March 4 next year.

He was also disqualified from driving for five years.


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