Crashed car not stolen
WITHIN one month of losing his licence, a Jubilee Pocket motorist crashed his car, fled the scene and reported it missing the next day.
And after going to all that trouble, Jay Bass, 41, faced Proserpine Magistrates Court charged with driving while disqualified.
Police attended the scene of the single-vehicle accident at Mandalay Rd at 8.20pm on October 9, and noticed the Hyundai vehicle, which belonged to Bass, sustained significant damage.
However, no-one was present.
Bass reported to the Whitsunday Police Station to declare the vehicle stolen the following day.
Prosecutor Sheena Hayes said Bass admitted to being at the scene of the accident after his version of events was challenged by police.
"He said he was in fact driving the vehicle when it crashed and it had not been stolen,” she said.
"Police checks showed his licence was disqualified ... he stated he was aware his licence was disqualified and did not offer a reason for driving.
"He said he left the scene after taking a lift from a passer-by who drove him home.”
Bass said his recollection of the incident was "fuzzy” due to new medication he was taking.
"I realised I had a problem and I'm trying to help myself,” he said.
"This was the first car I bought in 10 years, in the last 10 years I have worked in fly-in fly-out work, the only reason I bought this car was because I wanted to spend time interstate and help out after the cyclone.”
He submitted a medical certificate and character reference to the court.
Magistrate Ron Muirhead said the charge was "serious” considering Bass got behind the wheel and caused a single vehicle accident, just 3-4 weeks since disqualification.
"The bottom line is you were disqualified a short time before you drove the vehicle, for three months.
"Driving a motor vehicle shortly after being disqualified by a court order will quite often find you receiving a prison sentence.
"Your record isn't that bad as this is your first time for disqualified driving.
"There will be no prison, but there will be a heavy fine.”
Bass was disqualified from driving for a further two years and was fined $1200.