Man jailed for drunk driving and possessing illegal drugs

REFUSING to stop, driving dangerously, while drunk and in possession of illegal drugs resulted in a Halls Head man being sentenced to 17 months in prison when he appeared at Mandurah Magistrates Court on September 1.

On May 30, William Dean Bell was driving his Holden Commodore in Halls Head.

Police behind him activated their sirens, but instead of stopping, Bell turned left on to McLarty Road.

He lost control of the car and stopped in the front yard of a house.

Bell drove off and once again lost control of his car on the front verge of a house.

The police prosecutor told the court Bell had his licence suspended on July 6, 2014.

When police conducted a breath test, Bell had a blood alcohol level of 0.067.

They also found a clipseal bag containing marijuana in the car.

Bell failed to appear in court on July 14 to face charges of attempting to drive a car on a public road with a blood alcohol content exceeding 0.05, failing to comply with a direction to stop in circumstances of aggravation, driving in a manner that was dangerous to escape pursuit, driving with a suspended licence and possessing cannabis.

When he appeared in court on September 1, he pleaded guilty to these charges and breaching bail.

One night ruined everything, according to Bell.

The court heard he had started a successful roof plumbing business after his last stint in jail.

He was also caring for his mother who had recently been diagnosed with cancer.

“I should have stopped,” he said.

Magistrate Leanne Atkins said Bell disregarded the safety of members of the public while being chased by the police.

“Drivers as reckless as you end up in people’s homes,” she said.

She said it was sad that her only option was to sentence Bell to prison, after he had organised his own business the last time he was released from jail. Bell received a 17-month sentence in total and is eligible for parole.