Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Jailed driver to miss child's birth

Shepparton magistrate jails man with extensive history of driving and drink-driving offences.

DARREN LINTON February 19, 2014 4:04am

A Shepparton man with a ‘‘shocking’’ driving record will spend six months in jail, missing the birth of his child.

Michael Peter Gordon, 32, of Greybox Way, Kialla pleaded guilty at Shepparton Magistrates’ Court yesterday to refusing a preliminary breath test and driving in breach of an alcohol interlock condition on his licence.

The condition was imposed because of a previous drink-driving offence.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Tony O’Bryan told the court when Gordon was ejected from the Goulburn Valley Hotel after midnight on July 6 last year and immediately staggered to a car and drove off, security staff called police.

Gordon was intercepted on Wilmot Rd and returned a positive roadside test, but refused to accompany police for a further test.

The guilty plea to both charges also triggered a three-month suspended sentence.

Lawyer Marshall Richards argued Magistrate Simon Garnett should not go beyond the three months if he decided to impose a jail term, so Gordon could be out in time for the birth of his child.

Mr Garnett said he did not accept exceptional circumstances existed and he reimposed the three-month sentence.

He also ordered Gordon serve a further three months for driving without an alcohol interlock.

For refusing a breath test, he was fined $2000 and disqualified from driving for five years.

Mr Garnett pointed to 17 pages of prior convictions dating back to 1997 for drink-driving, driving while suspended, driving unregistered vehicles and breaching court orders for an alcohol interlock.

‘‘It is just a shocking, shocking history,’’ he said.

‘‘Your offending beggars belief having regard to your prior history.’’

Mr Garnett said to engage in behaviour putting his own life at risk was one thing, but risking the lives of others meant the community deserved protection.

‘‘This sort of behaviour puts other people at risk and the community has a right to expect to be protected from it,’’ he said.

After being hugged by his pregnant and sobbing partner, Gordon turned to face the magistrate and complained that he would not be there for the birth of his child.

Police then removed him from the court.

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