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- Unreported Judgment
Tomac v Commissioner of Police QDC 123
DISTRICT COURT OF QUEENSLAND
Tomac v Commissioner of Police  QDC 123
SCOTT JOSEPH TOMAC
COMMISSIONER OF POLICE
District Court, Ipswich
29 February 2016
29 February 2016
Horneman-Wren SC DCJ
CRIMINAL LAW- PROCEDURE- APPEAL- APPEAL AGAINST SENTENCE- where appellant appealed to year disqualification from holding or obtaining a drivers licence- where disqualification proved to be inhibition against attempts to gain employment, and ability to care for his children-where appellant’s parents unable to provide transport for appellant- where prohibitions imposed by the court will always occasion inconvenience- where pursuant to s 78(1) Transport Operation (Road Use Management) Act 1995, the magistrate was required to impose disqualification for at least 2 years- where there was no discretion to impose a lesser period of disqualification
Office of Director of Public Prosecutions for Respondent
HIS HONOUR: On 10 August 2015, a magistrate sitting in the Ipswich Magistrates Court convicted the appellant on five counts of stealing, one count of a contravention of a direction, six counts of a breach of or violence orders and one count of failure to appear. Each of those convictions was entered on the appellant’s own plea of guilty. Importantly for this appeal, the appellant was also convicted on his own plea of guilty of six disqualified driving charges which were committed over a four month period from 27 July 2011 to 26 November 2011.
Mr Tomac, the appellant, who represents himself in these proceedings, filed his appeal on the 16th of December 2015, which was some four months after the convictions were entered and therefore some three months after the time allowed by section 222 of the Justices Act for an appeal from them.
The essence of Mr Tomac’s appeal, as set out in his notice of appeal and which I have confirmed with him in the course of today’s hearing, is that he seeks to appeal that part of her Honour’s judgement and sentence whereby she imposed a two year further disqualification from him holding or obtaining a drivers licence in respect of the six disqualified driving charges.
In both his notice of appeal and in his submissions before me today, Mr Tomac points out that that disqualification is proving to be an inhibition against his attempts to obtain employment in particular, and to assist in the care of his children, all of which are matters which he hopes to participate in in order to progress his rehabilitation. He also tells me – and there are letters included in the notice of appeal from both his parents as to their personal circumstances as to why they are unable to provide all the transport which Mr Tomac would otherwise require.
All of those things may be readily understood. However, of course, a prohibition on driving imposed by the court will always occasion inconvenience and indeed is, to an extent, intended to do so as part of the punishment to be imposed for serious driving offences.
The Commissioner of Police as the respondent to the appeal has, in a very thorough outline prepared by Ms Jones, identified that each of the disqualified driving charges for which the appellant was convicted were offences against section 78(1) of the Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995 and that pursuant to section 78(3)(a), subsection (3)(a) of that Act, it was mandatory for the learned magistrate to impose a period disqualifying Mr Tomac from holding or obtaining a drivers licence of at least two years, but of no more than five years. That is as a consequence of the fact that each of those six convictions were in respect of offences against section 78(1), in circumstances in which Mr Tomac was already disqualified from holding or obtaining a Queensland drivers licence by earlier court orders.
As I pointed out to Mr Tomac in the course of the hearing, the circumstances identified by the Commissioner in his outline are such that there was no error at all in her Honour’s decision in respect of that part of the decision which Mr Tomac seeks to appeal. Her Honour was obliged in mandatory terms under the Act to do the very thing which she did. There was no exercise of a discretion because her Honour did not impose a period of disqualification in excess of two years. In all the circumstances the appeal must fail. In those circumstances, there is no utility in granting an extension of time within which to appeal and that application is refused.
Ms Jones, anything else?
MR TOMAC: No. Thank you, your Honour.
HIS HONOUR: Mr Tomac? Adjourn the court.
- Published Case Name:
Tomac v Commissioner of Police
- Shortened Case Name:
Tomac v Commissioner of Police
 QDC 123
29 Feb 2016