FIFO dad on final warning before jail
A DAD who thumbed his nose at a court-ordered licence disqualification as been given two jail terms after being caught driving twice in six weeks.
The jail sentences were immediately suspended by the magistrate this week and will hang over his head as a deterrent.
Siyasanga Patrick Balfour, 33, a FIFO from Springfield Lakes, pleaded guilty to driving when disqualified by court order at Toowong on December 7 last year; and again as a repeat offender on the Warrego Highway at Gatton on January 22.
Prosecutor Sergeant Brad Dick said Balfour was intercepted by police at 8.28pm driving a red VW Golf hatch on Milton Road at Toowong.
“He said he did not have a licence due to losing it in court, and was driving his son to his mother’s house,” Sgt Dick said.
A police check revealed Balfour’s licence had been disqualified by court order on August 28 last year for 27 months until November 25, 2021.
Sgt Dick said officers pulled over a 2008 model black Honda Accord near Gatton on January 22, with the driver Balfour giving his correct name and saying he was unlicensed.
He told officers that he was on his way west out to Miles to work.
Defence lawyer Kelsea Read said it was conceded that Balfour left himself open to jail terms given his history.
She said Balfour’s last drive when disqualified offence had been in 2013, with one similar in 2012.
Ms Read said the dad of two had worked as a FIFO worker until COVID-19 and now works in the Brisbane area.
Magistrate Rob Turra said Balfour came before the court as a recidivist offender.
“You drive on the roads it seems without any care in the world whether you have got a licence or not,” Mr Turra said.
“The court imposes sanctions upon you and you continue to drive.
“In fact you have been before the court eight times in 10 years for traffic matters including unlicensed or disqualified driving.
“This is the third offence of driving when either court disqualified or suspended by police in the past two years.”
Mr Turra said that while the offences in 2012 and 2013 were now dated, they demonstrated Balfour’s persistence.
He warned there were also legal implications if Balfour was involved in an accident as he would not be insured.
Given his history, Mr Turra warned Balfour that he was heading to jail.
He was sentenced to one month jail on the first charge, and to two months on the second. Both terms were immediately suspended for 12 months.
Balfour’s licence to drive was again disqualified for two years on each offence.