30 years without a driver's licence

A DRIVER who was charged for the second time in a month because he drove unlicensed has been jailed for a week.

Robert Dammas Gussen-hoven, 61, of Seymour Street, Lismore, pleaded guilty in Warrnambool Magistrates Court yesterday.

He was convicted, fined $1000 and sentenced to 28 days’ imprisonment with seven days to serve and the remaining 21 days to be suspended for two years.

Magistrate Jonathan Klestadt made no order involving Gussenhoven’s ability to get a licence because he said that was what should happen.

The magistrate said it appeared the defendant held a licence when he appeared in the Frankston Magistrates Court on June 24, 1976, but he had since then appeared in numerous courts on charges of  driving without a licence.

Gussenhoven has been jailed in the past for his driving offences which include multiple counts of drink-driving.

Mr Klestadt said that while the most recent offending was not the worst for which Gussenhoven had appeared in court it was just more of the same.

Gussenhoven was pulled over by police at Lismore on July 29 this year and again in Camperdown on August 23.

Defence counsel Jonathan Makary conceded his client had a poor driving record and Gussenhoven expected to be sentenced to a jail term.

Mr Klestadt said to call Gussenhoven a repeat offender was to underplay how significant his past charges were or how often the defendant had appeared in courts.

“You’ve had months, years, to take steps to resolve your difficulties,” Mr Klestadt said. 

‘‘I have little confidence you will not reoffend.

“You have not held a licence for more than 30 years and yet continue to drive.

‘‘Admittedly a lot of your offending has been more serious than this but you have not learnt from penalties imposed in the past. You can’t drive until you get a licence.

“Until you get a licence you will be in and out of court and in and out of jail.”

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