His own version of Dickensian squalor in a house crammed with the furniture of four dead relatives could land a Corowa man in jail.
Richard Charles Dickins has been openly hostile to the idea of home detention for what police say is his blatant repeat disqualified driving habits.
He continued that when he fronted Albury Local Court this week for sentence.
But rather than accepting such an onerous fate, just yet, Dickins pleaded for an adjournment to “get a barrister”.
He reckoned it’d cost him at least $10,000, so hoped for a couple of months’ grace from magistrate Rodney Brender. Instead, he was given four weeks.
“You can tell your barrister that he’s got to work out how to keep you out of jail,” Mr Brender said, in adjourning Dickens’ sentencing to September 27.
Dickins has pleaded guilty to two second offences of disqualified driving, which in turn breached previous bonds.
“He has a total disregard for court,” police said, “and the safety of the public through his continuation of driving.”
Solicitor Camille McKay, appearing amicus for Dickins, said she had tried to paint a clear picture of the legal reality he faced.
“I have explained to him the consequences of not co-operating with a home detention assessment.”
The 71-year-old then addressed the court to explain his opposition to a sentence that could actually keep him out of full-time jail.
Dickins said he “didn’t have any idea” of what home detention was at first.
“When I found out what it was I was absolutely infuriated,” he said. “I can’t move in that house.”
Dickins, wearing a flowing, full white beard, said that was because the house was “chockablock” with his mum and dad’s furniture and possessions, likewise of his two late brothers, as well as his own including TVs and sound equipment.
“The house is just not suitable for home detention,” he said. “I do sleep there every few days though in a sleeping bag on the carpet.”
The house had been in such a state since 2008.
But Mr Brender told Dickins, who has held a Queensland driver’s licence since 2005, that his latest offending – in Atkins Street, South Albury, on January 7 just before 1am and in Honour Avenue, Corowa, on May 4 about 11.20am – was the continuation of a dreadful record.
That included 12 instances of driving without a licence.
“The problem you have is you’ve breached a suspended sentence.”
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