A successful businessman that crashed into a police station fence while three-times over the limit, and then attempted to drive off, has been given the most lenient possible sentence.
(min cost $8)
Login or signup to continue reading
James Heriot of Norah Creek Road, Molong pleaded guilty to high-range drink driving at Orange Local Court on May 5, 2023. He wore a blue suit and was supported by his parents.
The 48-year-old drove his white Dodge Ram into the fence of Cumnock Police Station after drinking about 10 Great Northern beers at a nearby event about 8.50pm, April 1.
A off-duty policeman heard metal dragging along the tarmac outside his window and members of the public raised the alarm. He was found nearby and blew 0.185 when breath tested.
"It is remarkable he was still standing up," sentencing magistrate David Day said at Orange Local Court.
"If he [keeps doing it] he might find the only vehicle he's driving is the electric one round the backyard of the prison."
In court his solicitor said the behaviour was triggered after seeing his ex-wife at the Cumnock Long Lunch with a new boyfriend, which proved "very distressing".
A plea for leniency was based on Heriot's difficulty seeing his children in Bowral without a licence. His ability to work has also been restricted.
The driver expressed remorse for his actions. He has no previously criminal convictions and has never been before court.
Magistrate David Day disclosed he had previously met Heriot, but is not a close friend. Neither the prosecution or defence had a problem with him overseeing sentencing.
James Heriot was convicted, fined $1650 fine, and given the minimum disqualification period of five months. He is subject to a 24 month interlock order.
"While the ancient Athenians used to fine rich people more than poor people, that's not nessesarily the approach taken in my court," magistrate Day said.
Reading this on mobile web? Download our news app here. It's faster, easier to read and we'll send you alerts for breaking news as it happens.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.