BANKRUPTED Gold Coast businessman Craig Gore has been disqualified from driving for two months and fined $700 after pleading guilty to unlicensed driving at Southport Magistrate Court this morning.
This was the third unlicensed driving charge faced by the former V8 Supercar team owner and failed developer over the past five years.
Gore entered the guilty plea before magistrate Michael O’Driscoll after initially intending to fight the charge which was brought after a Channel 7 television news crew captured footage of Gore driving from his Sanctuary Cove home on November 27 last year.
The court heard that Gore did not hold a valid driver’s licence at the time of the offence but did hold a learner’s permit which dated back to 2011.
In response to the guilty plea, police prosecutor Acting Senior Constable Saloshini Chetty had sought a community service order against Gore after describing his traffic history in New South Wales and Queensland since the 1980s as “extensive”.
Chetty says Gore has “13 previous convictions for unlicensed driving dating back to the 1980s”.
But Gore’s defence counsel Ron Frigo cites that at least three of those charges have been “duplicated” and relate to the same incident.
Frigo argues that Gore’s latest unlicensed driving charge is the result of confusion over the learner’s permit issued to Gore in December 2011.
Frigo argues that Gore obtained the learner’s permit in December 2011 after completing a one-month disqualification for unlicensed driving in October that year.
He says Gore assumed the learner’s permit, which was issued for three years to December 2104, would automatically revert to a provisional licence after 12 months and that, as a result, Gore assumed he was licensed at the time of the most recent offence.
Frigo argued the earlier unlicensed driving matters in NSW that were presented to the court by the police prosecutor occurred a “long, long time ago” and he urged the magistrate to show leniency in this matter.
He also says Gore is both “humbled” and “embarrassed” by the incident.
Despite police prosectutor Chetty arguing that Gore’s previous convictions had failed to prove a deterrent, magistrate O’Driscoll accepted the submissions from Gore.
While he notes Gore’s driving history is “not good”, he accepts there is no indication of dangerous driving in this matter and that a community service order is not appropriate.
Gore declined to speak to the media after the ruling was handed down.
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