Drink driver caught after leaving licence at scene of car crash

A drunk driver who crashed into a parked car, a gutter, then hit a rubbish bin and the porch of a house, has been sentenced in Orange Local Court.

Mark Neville Downey, 42, of Obley Street, Cumnock, was given a 12-month good behaviour bond on Monday and was disqualified from driving for six months for driving under the influence of alcohol.

He was also fined $220 for not giving his particulars to the owner of the other car following the crash.

According to police facts submitted to the court, Downey had been drinking alcohol in Cumnock on November 30 but at 8.30pm he decided to drive his Nissan Patrol home, which at the time was in Nile Street, Orange. 

Police said Downey turned into Dalton Street from Burrendong Way but as he continued along the street he hit the driver’s side of a Mazda 3, which was parked on the side of the road.

As a result of hitting the car he mounted the gutter in Dalton Street and hit a council-owned rubbish bin, knocked down some branches overhanging from a tree and hit the front porch of a Dalton Street house causing three pot plants to smash. 

According to police, who spoke to onlookers, Downey put the vehicle into reverse and left the scene.

However, his mobile phone case, containing his driver’s licence and other cards in his name, was found among the rubbish of the upturned bin.

Police went to his house and found the ute out the front, one side was damaged, a front tyre was deflating and there were branches and leaves from the tree in the tray of the ute.

“Look it was me, I’m not going to lie, I just panicked and didn’t know what to do,” he was quoted as saying to the police when they knocked on his door.

Downey represented himself in court and magistrate David Day said driving under the influence incurred the same penalty as mid-range drink driving.

“Colliding with another car, a kerb and a council rubbish bin, it sounds like you were well affected,” Mr Day said.

Mr Day said Downey had said he’d drunk between eight and 10 cans of beer.

“No wonder you had a crash because you were driving under the influence,” he said.

“Although he has a bad driving record, it is his first trip to court,” Mr Day said before sentencing.

However, he added that the crash aggravated the offence.