A MAN repeatedly caught driving unlicensed by police, including twice in one afternoon, has been fined $300 following a brief appearance before Bathurst Local Court.
The court heard the man, who said he didn't have time to get his licence, was stopped by police in the vicinity of the Bathurst RMS, where his licence could have been renewed.
Shyro Robert Tirei Hatu, 29, of Raglan Street, South Bathurst, appeared before Magistrate Kevin Hockey to answer a charge of driving while his licence was expired (less than two years).
Hatu pleaded guilty to the charge.
His honour asked Hatu if he has his licence now and Hatu told the court he did.
He was then asked why he drove without it and he said: "I didn't have time to get it."
"Well, at least you have your licence now; that is a good thing," Mr Hockey said before fining him $300.
Police allege in documents handed to the court told how Hatu was stopped by police on the Mid Western Highway west of Blayney at 2.50pm on May 2, 2022 for a random breath test.
He was asked for his licence by police and, according to the police facts, he said "my licence says expired" as he showed officers his NSW C-Class unregistered digital licence on his phone.
The licence's expiry date was April 8, 2022.
When asked why he was still driving, Hatu said he had been unable to attend the RMS due to work commitments.
He undertook the roadside breath test, which produced a negative result, but police checks revealed he had been stopped on April 20, 2022 and issued with a penalty notice for the offence of licence expires less than two years (first offence).
The accused was then issued with another penalty notice for the offence of licence expired less than two years (prior offence) and cautioned by police that if he was stopped again they would have no option other than to place him before the court.
Less than two hours later, at 4.35pm, police say they saw Hatu's car travelling north on the Mid Western Highway.
They said they immediately recognised the vehicle due to the earlier interaction.
Police stopped the car and approached Hatu, advising him of their body-worn camera and in-car video. They asked him why he was continuing to drive.
He said he had organised a lift, "but I asked old mate at the golf club if I could leave my car there, but I'm not a local".
He underwent another random breath test, which produced a negative result.
As it was the third time Hatu had been stopped for the same offence in three weeks, police issued him with a court attendance notice.
In their allegations, police noted the accused passed near Services NSW before being stopped by police.
They said Services NSW was open and would have allowed the accused to renew his licence without issue.
Police noted the accused was calm, compliant, honest and polite with officers, and contacted a relative to collect him prior to police leaving the area.
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