A Narromine miner who was caught behind the wheel of a car five times without a licence will spend at least four months behind bars.
Nathan McAllan was sentenced for repeatedly driving while disqualified in Dubbo Local Court last Wednesday.
According to court documents, police were patrolling Narromine when they spotted the 36-year-old driving a white ute along Dappo Road at about 12.20am on May 9 this year.
McAllan was pulled over and asked for his licence, when he told police it was disqualified. Officers asked why he was driving when he told them he was "driving back from a mate's house".
Further checks of his licence revealed he was a green p-plater, and was charged with driving while disqualified on March 22 and August 20 in 2020.
The next month, on June 30, McAllan was driving a golden Holden Commodore on Whylandra Street in Dubbo, when he was stopped by police for random testing.
It says in the report you showed minimal insight in regard to the current legal ordersMagistrate Gary Wilson
According to court documents, police asked McAllan for his licence, when he turned to the front passenger and shrugged his shoulders, later informing police he was disqualified.
Police asked why he was driving, when he told the officers he had picked his friend up from a mate's place, and was taking him down the road to another friend's house.
Following the search of the vehicle, police located a kitchen knife with a 20cm blade stashed between the driver's seat and the centre console, which McAllan said he used for fishing. Police said the knife had been bent on the tip and home sharpened on both ends.
McAllan was again pulled over by police for driving while disqualified at about 2am on August 21.
In Dubbo Local Court last Wednesday, McAllan pleaded guilty to three counts of driving while disqualified.
The court heard it was McAllan's fifth time before the court for driving while disqualified.
Defence lawyer David Hemsworth said McAllan started using the drug ice in 2015, which a key contributor to his offending.
The court heard McAllan's drug use began after he had been working as an underground machine operator at a mine in Africa in 2014.
Mr Hemsworth said an incident occurred one night, when a 14-year-old boy had chipped away at some rock, which fell on him. The court heard McAllan was responsible for extracting the body.
"That is what largely led to his use of drugs as a form of self medication," Mr Hemsworth said.
"He also tells me these previous offences occurred when he's back in the country after he's been working overseas," Mr Hemsworth said.
"He tells me his work is his rehab."
Mr Hemsworth said McAllan had taken steps to engage with rehabilitation, and attempted to detox at Orana Haven near Brewarrina, but left 10 days later concerned about his partner.
"He tells me his drug use is drastically decreased, he's doing much better," he said.
Mr Hemsworth said McAllan was currently unemployed, but had a job lined up at Tritton mine in Nyngan.
He tells me his work is his rehabDefence lawyer David Hemsworth
"In addition his car has been stolen, and doesn't intend to buy a new one," Mr Hemsworth said.
However, Magistrate Gary Wilson said McAllan had a "shocking" criminal history, and continued to offend while on good behaviour bonds, showing a complete disregardfor the court's orders.
He said the sentencing assessment report completed in February was no better.
"I've got potentially five matters of the same offending here, two have already been dealt with by way of a good behaviour bond, but then you continue to reoffend and drive while disqualified," Magistrate Wilson said.
"And during the middle of all this a sentencing assessment report is being prepared, and during the preparation of that there was further offending.
"It says in the report you showed minimal insight in regard to the current legal orders.
"It also says you're at a medium risk of reoffending, and says you have little insight into the offending."
Magistrate Wilson said the charges, which were classed second offences, under law carry a maximum period of 12 months in jail, a $5000 fine and automatic disqualification from driving for five months.
He said general and specific deterrence was important because the offending "had to stop".
"I'm certainly not a fan of imposing a custodial sentence for driving offences, but there comes a point when the court has to say this has to stop," Magistrate Wilson said.
"As tough as it may seem, but it has reached that point."
With a significant finding of special circumstances, Magistrate Wilson sentenced McAllan to 12-month term of imprisonment, with a non-parole period of four months in jail.
He was also fined $500 for the possession of a knife in a public place.