Licence lost for second offence

Daryl Gray arrives at Albury Local Court yesterday.

Daryl Gray arrives at Albury Local Court yesterday.

SOUTH Albury farmer Daryl Robert Gray kept his licence when he appeared in court last month for a high-range drink-driving offence.

Magistrate Tony Murray said Gray’s clean driving record for almost 50 years and his community contributions convinced him to record no conviction and impose a two-year bond.

It was only the fifth time in 17 years as a magistrate that Mr Murray has offered that leniency for such an offence.

But April 15 was the same day Gray was nabbed by police for a low-range drink-driving matter and he was back in Albury Local Court yesterday.

Solicitor Mark Cronin said: “My client is mortified he is sitting behind me.”

Gray, 66, of Abercorn Street, was breath tested just 100 metres from his home after driving about one kilometre from his property in South Albury.

He pleaded guilty to his second drink-driving matter in four months, was fined $300 and disqualified for three months.

“Hopefully, sir, this is the last time we see you,” Mr Murray told Gray.

Mr Murray indicated no action would be taken on the bond because of the time devoted by Gray to the community and sporting organisations.

But Mr Murray said any further offences would see Gray off the road for a long time.

Gray left his property “Willowbank” about 5.30pm on January 19 to drive home through a quiet residential area.

He was revving his engine to charge the battery which had been flat, but hit a barrier and was taken to Albury hospital with a facial injury.

A blood sample taken from him was sent for analysis and provided an alcohol reading of 0.159.

Police stopped Gray in Abercorn Street about 8.06pm on April 15 and a breath test was positive.

A later breath analysis gave a reading of 0.069 with Gray explaining he drank four cans of beer without having had anything to eat since 11am.

Mr Cronin said Gray discovered some cattle he had bought suffering from “pink eye” after attending court last month.

He arranged for veterinary treatment and two had since died with another to be euthanised.

Gray drank four cans of beer in two hours before driving home and was shocked by the reading.

“It is just extremely regrettable that he finds himself in this situation,” Mr Cronin said.

He said Gray was the convenor of the farmers’ market held on the Lincoln Causeway and has been heavily involved in sporting organisations for decades.