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Magistrate’s sympathy for single dad on nappy dash

A SINGLE dad had run out of nappies when he decided to take a risk and drive without a licence.

His efforts to avoid a messy situation wound up costing him dearly in the end, with police intercepting him not far from home.

Wepiha Reo Webster, 37, from Bellbird Park, went before Ipswich Magistrates Court on Monday and pleaded guilty to driving while unlicensed in Bellbird Park on July 15.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Bridie O’Shea said police intercepted Webster at 9.30pm.

He gave a false name initially but then told police his correct name and address.

A check revealed Webster had served a one-month disqualification but was yet to renew his licence afterwards.

Wepiha Reo Webster leaves court after a magistrate told him to go and sort his driver's licence out.

Wepiha Reo Webster leaves court after a magistrate told him to go and sort his driver’s licence out.

Snr Const. O’Shea said Webster’s Holden Calais was impounded and could be forfeited as a result.

When asked by Magistrate David Shepherd what he had to say, Webster acknowledged he had not got around to renewing his driver’s licence after serving out his disqualification.

“I was going to the gas station to get my son some nappies,” he said.

“I’m a single father.

“He (the child) had diarrhoea and I wasn’t going to let him go like that all night.”

Mr Shepherd asked why he had not bothered to renew his licence after the disqualification ended.

“I got laid off work because of the coronavirus. Centrelink hardly covers (costs of renewing the his licence).”

Mr Shepherd said it would be cheaper for him to get a licence than pay fines.

He was fined $200, but not disqualified from driving, with the magistrate preferring that he renew his licence instead.

“Make the effort to go and get your licence Mr Webster,” Mr Shepherd said.

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