A sentence of two weeks imprisonment and two years disqualification from driving was tripled after Eladio Brown, 39, admitted driving whilst disqualified on three occasions earlier this year.
Checking his record, which showed he was already disqualified until 2011, Magistrate Grace Donalds added on each new penalty. Together, they mean that Brown is now disqualified from driving until 2017.
His sentencing took some time because Brown was also before the court for drug charges and offences against the person.
In reading the files, the magistrate noted that Brown on one occasion told police he had been smoking ganja for 29 years. Brown said yes – he started when he was 11 or 12.
This time, however, he said most of the offences occurred between January and April, when he was having a problem with alcohol. Now he had made up his mind to get help and had not had a drink in four months.
The magistrate replied, ‘Well, they don’t serve alcohol in prison.’
Brown, who has been in custody since June, said he hadn’t had any ganja either. ‘I could get it every day at Northward,’ he said. ‘I’ve been seeing alcohol there too, but I don’t mess with it.’
The magistrate checked Brown’s record. It showed that he had received a variety of sentences in the past – custody, probation, being bound over to keep the peace. ‘None seems to have any influence in reducing your offending.’
She also referred to a recent assessment report from the Counselling Centre, which recommended counselling sessions one-to-one and then twice-weekly attendance at Alcoholic Anonymous. There are AA meetings at Northward Prison, but Brown said he had not yet attended.
‘I have to accept you’re a danger to the community and in particular to the two complainants (Brown’s former girlfriend and her mother) and I have to be concerned for their protection,’ the magistrate said.
For the offence of assault causing actual bodily harm, in which he struck one of the women with his fist, he received four months imprisonment.
For threatening violence on the same date, he received eight weeks consecutive. The threat was ‘I’m going to get my gun and shoot you.’
Sentences for possession and consumption of ganja were mostly made to run concurrently as were several others for driving offences. The total time in prison added up to five months and 16 weeks.
One of the driving incidents involved Brown taking his brother’s car without permission and then running into a fence, damaging both it and the vehicle.