Conviction appeal denied by Court of Appeal

A Collie man has lost his appeal to have a driving conviction overturned by the Court of Appeal last month.

Leigh Andrew Edwards was originally fined $200 after pleading guilty to two offences – driving an unlicensed vehicle and driving a vehicle with number plates other than those issued to the vehicle – in the Collie Justice of the Peace Court on May 27, 2015.

Edwards was also told by one of the Justices of the Peace presiding over the case that he had lost his license for three months due to the offence.

Edwards was then convicted on September 17, 2015 in the Albany Magistrates Court of driving while disqualified in relation to an incident in Milpara on August 12, 2015. As a result, he received a six-month community-based order and a further nine-month disqualification.

On December 14, 2015, Edwards was again convicted of driving while disqualified in the Donnybrook Magistrates Court after he was caught by police in Mumballup on November 16, 2015. He was fined $3000 and banned from driving for another 12 months.

However, Edwards appealed to have the sentence from the Collie court amended, as the three-month disqualification only applied if he had been a probationary license holder at the time, which he wasn’t.

He then also appealed to have the two following convictions from the Albany and Donnybrook courts set aside, as he hadn’t been a disqualified driver at the time.

The magistrate presiding over the appeal in 2017 decided to set aside the first conviction from Albany as Edwards was not actually disqualified at the time, however decided that the Donnybrook conviction should stand as he had been disqualified by the Albany court at the time of the offence.

Edwards appealed this decision citing the fact that he was disqualified by the Albany court incorrectly, however the Court of Appeal upheld the magistrate’s decision and denied Edwards’ leave to appeal based on the fact that Edwards had knowingly disobeyed a court order that had been imposed at the time, before he had made any appeals.