Drink drive pest jailed

By MADELEINE DOHERTY

ONE of the Tweed's worst driving offenders has been run off the road and could spend an enforced nine-month pitstop in jail.

Doon Doon man Craig John Hargreaves was convicted of his fifth drink-drive charge in Murwillumbah Court this week.

The 36-year-old carpenter pleaded guilty to driving with a mid-range PCA and to driving while disqualified last December.

The Court heard Hargreaves had received a call from his sick mother in Newcastle to spend Christmas with her.

Hargreaves, who was already disqualified from driving until 2011, responded to the call by driving from Murwillumbah to Newcastle.

Police, carrying out random breath tests on Christmas Eve, picked Hargreaves up just south of Newcastle at Belmont.

Hargreaves' driving misdemeanours, which started in 1989, include speeding, negligent driving, five drink-drive ? one with a high-range PCA, failure to stop at an accident and driving while disqualified.

Solicitor Carl Edwards, who represented Hargreaves, said his client had miscalculated the amount of alcohol he had consumed before driving.

Mr Edwards said Hargreaves had recently sought help from a drug and alcohol counsellor but conceded that his client "wears out the court's patience".

He asked the court to allow Hargreaves to "maintain his liberty" and to "leave the sword hanging over his head".

Magistrate Jeff Linden said Hargreaves made a bad choice to drive while disqualified and with a mid-range PCA.

"It's a prevalent offence and there seems to be an attitude in this area that nothing ever happens as a result," Mr Linden said.

Mr Linden sentenced Hargreaves to nine months jail with a three-month non-parole period and disqualified him from driving for another two years.

Hargreaves was visibly shaken as he left the court escorted by two police officers.



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