Jail looms for repeat offender

Riley Shannon was spared jail for driving while disqualified three times.

Riley Shannon was spared jail for driving while disqualified three times.

NORTH Albury man Riley Thomas Shannon is just 20 years old and already banned from driving until 2019.

Shannon appeared for sentencing in Albury Local Court yesterday on three counts of disqualified driving from earlier this year.

The offences happened in an eight-week period from February 5 to March 31.

But Shannon would have had another five years added to his time off the road if magistrate Tony Murray had not quashed a finding declaring him a habitual traffic offender.

Solicitor Andrea MacDonald said another five years added to his present disqualification would be harsh.

“You were well and truly aware you were not entitled to drive,” Mr Murray told Shannon.

“You are placing your liberty at risk if you continue to commit this offence.”

Shannon was caught driving the first time about 11.10pm on February 5 in Swan Street at North Albury and readily admitted he was disqualified.

It was just 12 days later when police saw him driving in Hague Street at Lavington about 2.10pm.

He was stopped for a random breath test and police asked for his licence.

“I don’t have one. I am disqualified. I am just driving my friends home,” Shannon told the officer.

A check by the officer revealed Shannon had a three-year ban, from February 5, last year, until February 4, 2016.

Police charged Shannon with disqualified driving a third time after they saw him in Mate Street about 12.15pm on March 31 and followed him to David Street before stopping him.

He admitted being a banned driver and said he was going to collect his mother.

“On each occasion, he was either recognised or pulled up for a random breath test,” Ms MacDonald said.

She said Shannon had sold his car and is living at a caravan park.

Mr Murray imposed a $400 fine for the first offence, $600 fine for the second matter and put Shannon on a two-year bond for the final offence.

Concurrent three-year disqualifications were imposed on each.

Mr Murray said any further driving offences would result in a suspended sentence or full-time jail term.