Anger as drivers ignore bans on licences

THE number of drivers ignoring court-imposed disqualifications, along with others thumbing their nose at NSW licensing restrictions, seems to be increasing in the Albury region.

In four days last week there were 18 disqualified drivers along with 14 unlicensed drivers due to front Albury Local Court.

Twenty-four of them — 12 disqualified drivers and 12 charged with being unlicensed or having their licence cancelled or suspended — were listed for Tuesday.

There seems to be a growing trend of such offences.

Albury police highway patrol officer Sgt Matt Zemaitis said he was unable to say whether such matters were becoming more prevalent.

But he said each week people were regularly caught for those crimes.

“It is very disturbing from our perspective,” he said.

“They are showing a blatant disregard for court orders and bans imposed by NSW Roads and Maritime Services.”

Sgt Zemaitis said people committing such offences were facing further extended periods of disqualification, financial hardship and the prospect of going to jail.

In most instances, Albury magistrate Tony Murray orders pre-sentence reports on people caught driving when disqualified.

The outcome many times for such offenders is community service, but recidivist banned drivers finish up in jail.

Mr Murray has ordered a report on North Albury man Riley Thomas Shannon, who was caught three times in less than two months driving while disqualified.

Shannon, 20, of Mate Street, was nabbed on February 5, February 17 and March 31.

No explanation was given to police on the first occasion, but the second time he told officers he was driving friends home and the third time he was going to get his mother.

His sentencing has been deferred until June 10 with Mr Murray saying bail had not been imposed on any of the charges.

North Albury man Garth Edwin Anderson committed three disqualified driving offences last year before being caught about 7.15pm on February 12.

Mr Murray said Anderson, 44, of Boronia Street, received bonds and fines for the charges last year.

His sentencing was adjourned until May 27 with a pre-sentence report ordered.

Anderson told arresting police he had driven to a nearby shop to collect a two-litre bottle of coke.

Albury man Adam Geoffrey Brezovnik was already serving a jail term for disqualified driving when he appeared from Junee jail on a video link for sentencing on another disqualified driving matter.

His sentence was due to expire on July 17, but Mr Murray extended the time in custody by two months until September 16.

The driving ban for Brezovnik, 27, was extended by three years until 2019.

He has never held a licence and Mr Murray warned him that further similar offences will result in “longer and longer periods in custody”.