'Redneck' cop nabs driver

THE unexpected sight of police on a quiet country back road near Nobby was the catalyst which led to a 36-year-old’s imprisonment, the Warwick Magistrates Court heard on Wednesday.

Michael Roy Mitchell pleaded guilty to driving without a licence disqualified by a court order when he was nabbed while test-driving his newly-acquired second-hand Holden Statesman on February 12 near Nobby.

The police prosecutor told the court Mitchell had eight pages of criminal and traffic history and had “been in prison for driving offences”.

“(Mitchell) told officers he didn’t think, ‘any rednecked country coppers (would be) on these back roads’,” the prosecutor said.

The bricklayer from Bongaree’s defence counsel said Mitchell and his wife and son were visiting his parents in Nobby when his wife experienced difficulties while driving the car, which explained why Mitchell was behind the wheel at the time.

“She experienced knocking in the steering shaft... she was fearful of the vehicle and she suffered a panic attack,” the defence said.

Mitchell’s defence counsel said the car had been fixed to the tune of about $1000 and had documentation to back the claim as well as evidence his client had “turned his life around”.

“He’s made every effort to rehabilitate... overcome through the help of tablets and AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) to overcome his alcoholism,” he said.

Magistrate Cridland said he accepted Mitchell had tried to step on the “right track” but could not ignore his record.

“I accept the awful position (Mitchell) has put him and his family into... and all the supporting documents, but what compounds it is that since (his last prison term) it was only 10 to 12 days he was released when he committed this crime,” Magistrate Cridland said.

Mitchell was sentenced to prison for nine months to be released after serving three months.

He was also disqualified from driving for a further two years and a conviction was recorded against him.

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