A man whose licence was already disqualified for 37 years has been jailed for getting behind the wheel after drinking.
Wade John Fleming fronted Wagga Local Court on Monday from a cell at the Mid North Coast Correctional Centre after he pleaded guilty to driving under the influence of alcohol with a disqualified licence at Halfway Creek.
When police officers pulled him over for driving at 120km/h in a 100 zone and asked for his licence, Fleming told them “I don’t actually have it on me”.
Later checks revealed his learner’s licence had been disqualified in 2000 until 2037.
Fleming’s lawyer, David Barron, told the court his client decided to drive himself home from a few after-work drinks after an argument led his designated driver to leave without him.
“My client had about $30,000 worth of tools in his work truck and made the very foolish decision to drive himself,” Mr Barron said.
“He shouldn’t have driven and, as I said, he’s in a cell as a result.”
The court heard that Fleming, who grew up in Wagga, had already been jailed on multiple occasions as a result of his extensive criminal history, which was mostly comprised of driving while disqualified and drink driving offences.
Magistrate Christopher Halburd sentenced Fleming to three months’ jail for his latest offence, leaving him with some stern words of warning.
“Your client is very lucky that the maximum periods of imprisonment have gone down dramatically since he was last sentenced,” Mr Halburd said.
“He’s got to understand that if he drives in contravention of a court order, he just goes to jail.”
Fleming also fronted court charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm and two counts of common assault during a 2016 incident in Wagga.
He had pleaded not guilty to those charges and will return to Wagga Local Court for a hearing on November 5.
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