WHEN Cameron James Clarence did a U-turn in Summer Street near a set of lights and was seen by police he didn’t think he was breaking the law because in Queensland where he learned to drive it is legal.
That was the defence put forward yesterday by solicitor Michael Madden who successfully argued for his client to get his licence back in Orange Local Court.
Mr Clarence told the court in response to Mr Madden’s questions he had been asked no specific questions about the legality of U-turns when he applied for his provisional licence in New South Wales.
The court heard he was an apprentice plumber who needed his licence for his work and to support his partner and baby.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Andy Bobin said he had no objections to the licence appeal being upheld saying Roads and Maritime Services was double dipping by using eight demerit points forfeited by Mr Clarence for a speeding offences earlier in the year during a double demerits campaign as a basis for him to lose his licence over the U-turn offence.
“It is double jeopardy,” he said.
“He [Mr Clarence] successfully appealed the speeding offence which carries a mandatory three months’ suspension, and then two months later gets a letter in the mail for the U-turn offence which carries two points.
“They have combined the two and used the eight points from the first offences advising him he had lost his licence a second time,” Sergeant Bobin said.
Mr Madden told the court he had decided to help his client fight to get his licence back due to the extenuating circumstances.
“If people come to me to have a second go (licence appeal) I usually tell them not to waste their money but there are good reasons for coming back today,” Mr Madden.
Magistrate Terry Lucas upheld Mr Clarence’s appeal saying it wasn’t appropriate for Mr Clarence to be disqualified over the U-turn infringement.