Jail for driving while disqualified

Defendant given suspended sentence for using someone’s credit card without permission

A man charged twice for driving while disqualified was sentenced last week to eight months’ imprisonment.

Magistrate Valdis Foldats told defendant Lindev Ricardo Reid that the sentence had to deter him and had to send a message to other disqualified drivers.

Reid, 28, was disqualified from driving for one year on Oct. 20, 2015 for driving without insurance. On Nov. 15, officers saw Reid driving along School Road. They arrested him and brought him to court on Nov. 17 for driving while disqualified and with no insurance (since insurance would not cover a disqualified driver).

At that court appearance, Magistrate Foldats told Reid that he considered the new charge a breach of a court order and remanded him in custody pending disposal of the matter.

On a later mention date, another magistrate granted Reid bail and set a return date.

On March 11 this year, police were called to a one-vehicle accident on West Bay Road. The car belonged to Reid’s wife and he admitted taking it without her consent. He was given a roadside breath test, which registered 0.212. Arrested and taken to the police station, he was tested with a breathalyzer and registered 0.173.

Defense attorney John Furniss said Reid had been unemployed for some time because he had hurt his neck and could not do the tiling work that was his trade. Not working, he sometimes drank at home.

On the night of the March 11 accident, he had taken the dog for a walk and the dog had run away. Reid could not chase after it because of his bad neck, so he got into the car to look for the dog and ended up crashing into bush on the side of the road. He had been in custody since.

The magistrate said it was pure luck that no one was injured.
Mr. Furniss agreed, adding, “The penny has dropped” for Reid because of this second time in custody. “He accepts he should never have made that decision to drive. If the realization wasn’t there before, it is now,” he said.

Another result of Reid’s bad decision was that the vehicle was a write-off. Reid was also going to have employment problems because he would not be able to drive, Mr. Furniss said.

The magistrate noted that the maximum sentence for driving while disqualified is 12 months. He imposed one month imprisonment for the first driving while disqualified offense and seven months consecutive for the second. Time in custody will count against the eight-month total.

Reid’s disqualification from driving now runs until 2021, which includes the driving under the influence charge. Other traffic sentences were made to run concurrently.

For a separate dishonesty charge involving the use of another person’s credit card, Mr. Furniss asked for a suspended sentence.

He pointed out that Reid had not been represented when he pleaded not guilty and a trial date was set. After speaking with Mr. Furniss, Reid changed his plea to guilty.

“You don’t need legal advice to tell the truth,” the magistrate replied. He pointed out that seven witnesses had been called for the trial.

Crown counsel Greg Walcolm said this was Reid’s first offense for dishonesty and it was not a breach of trust. Any custodial sentence should be suspended, he said.

He explained that the owner of the credit card had checked into a hotel on Seven Mile Beach using her credit card. She had then gone to Camana Bay with her purse, but did not use the credit card there. She noticed the card was missing the next day.

She called the bank and was informed that the card had been used for transactions totaling $750.30. One of the transactions was the purchase of an in-car stereo for $169.99. CCTV footage showed Reid making the purchase.

Reid was arrested but denied knowing anything about it. His vehicle was searched and a stereo was found matching the one purchased with the credit card. He then gave a “no comment” interview.

Mr. Furniss said Reid had pleaded not guilty because he did not want to admit the dishonesty to his wife. Reid later said he had found the card and used it.

The magistrate imposed a sentence of 10 months, suspended for two years and ordered compensation of $750.30 within six months or 75 days in default of payment.