MAGISTRATE Terry Lucas told Richard John Thompson he wasn’t “beating around the bush” in Orange Local Court on Thursday when considering sending him to jail for drink-driving offences.
In the space of five months Thompson, 36, has had his licence suspended for high-range drink driving and was caught again just last month driving with a mid range of alcohol in his system and driving while suspended.
In defence of his client, solicitor Bob Lulham said Thompson had a long-standing problem with alcohol and knew he was facing the possibility of jail, but had made significant attempts to curb his drinking habits.
Mr Lulham said Thompson was being prescribed medication by his medical practitioner and had signed up for rehabilitation programs, including the Magistrate’s Early Referral Into Treatment (MERIT) program.
Mr Lulham said his client would do anything to avoid jail and if he was given a sentence of community service he would arrange his own transport.
“It’s difficult to believe [Thompson’s rehabilitation efforts] considering his last charge was five weeks ago,” Mr Lucas said.
“Why was he drinking when he was already suspended?” he asked Mr Lulham.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Andy Bobin told the magistrate he noted Thompson had previous bonds for driving offences in 2009 and 2010.
Handing down Thompson’s sentence of a 12-month good behaviour bond, Mr Lucas told Thompson he would be fully supervised by probation and parole staff during that time to ensure he adhered to his bond conditions.
He disqualified Thompson from driving for three years.
The accused was also ordered to do 400 hours of community service with a charity organisation in Orange.
Thompson had his licence suspended on the spot when he blew high range in Orange in November last year , and was caught again in Kite Street at 2.45am on April 14 when he blew mid range and was driving while suspended.