Axe victim is nabbed drink-driving after leaving Bay pub

AFTER surviving an axe attack in March, Paul Robert Cowen found himself in trouble with police when he was caught drink-driving on October 10.

The 47-year-old Pialba man was pulled over by police at 10.46pm.

Cowen was driving a  Ford Falcon and police noticed him rapidly accelerate away from the Hervey Bay Hotel.

He was pulled over for a roadside breath test and returned a reading of 0.117%.

Defence lawyer Murray Nielsen said his client offered no defence to the mid-range drink-driving charge.

But Mr Nielsen told the court that Cowen had been injured in March after he was attacked from behind with an axe.

 Mr Nielsen said his client had tried to work, but his injuries had made maintaining employment difficult.

Cowen had become introverted and wary of socialising.

The night Cowen was caught drink-driving was one of the first times he had ventured out since the violent attack, Mr Nielsen said.

"He is ashamed of his actions," Mr Nielsen said.

Mr Nielsen appealed to magistrate Stephen Guttridge, telling him that due to Cowen's injuries, he was unable to ride a bike or walk long distances, so driving was essential.

When sentencing, Mr Guttridge said he took into account Cowen's early plea of guilty and his mitigating circumstances. He was disqualified from driving for four months and fined $600.



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