Banned from driving for 78 years

PAUL BIBBY
Last updated 19:02, August 27 2014
Scales of Justice
Louis Douvis

Scales of Justice

An elderly Sydney man has been banned from driving for the next 78 years and is facing nine months home detention after driving while disqualified for the 21st time.

"Don't drive, will you," Magistrate Chris O'Brien quipped after disqualifying the 76-year-old Nathaniel Barker from driving until 2092 on Wednesday.

"No, I won't you're honour," Barker replied.

The magistrate could be forgiven for doubting the septuagenarian's promise.

Barker's most recent offence, in March this year, came despite numerous warnings, fines, suspensions and one previous home detention order from magistrates across Sydney over the course of decades.

The 76-year-old was pulled over by police in the early hours of March 31 in Buckland Street, Alexandria, after twice turning left without indicating.

When police made inquiries they discovered he was already disqualified from driving till 2090.

Barker later claimed that he had been driving his partner's car to a service station to help with the young children she was looking after.

His solicitor told the court that despite her client having clusters of offences in the early 2000s and 1990s he had "not committed any offences in the past two years".

She also said he had "mental health issues".

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But Magistrate O'Brien said Barker had shown "little or no insight into his offending or the nature of that offending".

"Whether it's 18 or 21 offences, it's a huge number and it indicates a, ah, degree of lack of attention by you to the road rules or to court orders."

He said that no sentence other than custody would be appropriate, but that he was willing to consider ordering that the nine-month minimum sentence he imposed could be served through home detention.

He increased Barker's suspension by two years, to 78 years, or until 2092.

"I don't really see any point in referring you to the traffic offenders program because I don't think you'd go," the magistrate continued.

"Sir, this is the end of the line."

 - SMH

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