South West Sydney Legal Centre - Driving offences

Desperate and facing a jail term….

Bob’s story

Desperate and facing a jail term….


Bob is a middle aged Aboriginal man who has a long history of driving offences.  Charged with driving whilst disqualified and convicted of similar offences in the past, Bob was desperate when he came to see us having had repeated legal advice that he was going to jail.  Bob was realistic about a likely jail term, but felt no one was doing their best for him.


We spent time with Bob, getting to know him and his life story and identified that Bob may have a mental illness relevant to his repeat offences.  We arranged for a pro bono forensic psychologist to assess him and after multiple sessions the psychologist diagnosed Bob with a depressive disorder.  This condition restricted Bob’s ability to reason the negative consequences of his actions.


At the time of the offence Bob received a call from his daughter asking for his help.  His daughter suffers from bipolar disorder and was going through a marriage breakdown.  Without thought, Bob got in his car and drove to the Central Coast and it was during this trip that Bob was stopped by police and charged.


We represented Bob at court.  Relying upon the psychologist’s report, we were able to convince the court to issue a suspended sentence on condition that Bob attend treatment for his condition. Bob is on the road to getting his life on track and is thankful to be sleeping in his own bed rather than a prison cell.