Man convicted for third time of driving with suspended licence, has $20,000 in outstanding fines

A MAN has claimed ignorance of West Australian road rules after being convicted of driving with a suspended licence for a third time.

Appearing in custody at Rockingham Magistrates Court on January 22, Hamid Waheed had earlier been convicted in his absence for driving on a suspended licence conviction after police caught him driving in Orelia on September 25, 2017.

The prosecutor said his licence had been suspended on March 3, 2017 and this latest conviction was his third in less than a year.

She said his car was seized by police.

The duty lawyer said the facts were accepted and Waheed came to Australia on a student visa four years ago from Pakistan.

She said he found the laws ‘quite different here’ compared to Pakistan and he did not realise he would be in trouble if he continued to drive.

Magistrate Leanne Atkins rejected his defence.

“I find that difficult to believe – maybe once, but three times in one year? No,” she said.

The lawyer asked for fines as opposed to prison as he was working part-time in a kebab shop and had a family to support.

Magistrate Atkins said he had ignored past court orders.

“Fines are not working for you – according to our records you have $20,620.63 in outstanding fines,” she said.

“Twice in this court and once in Fremantle you were convicted for driving while suspended – you were told what would happen if you continued to drive.

“Fines are not a deterrent to you – there is no other deterrent other than imprisonment for you.

“You are not recognising the laws of this state – repeatedly ignoring these laws.”

She said the term would be suspended due to his age and that he was working.

She sentenced him to seven months imprisonment suspended for 12 months and disqualified him from driving for 12 months.

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