Disabled man took fall for a mum going through ‘rough patch’

GOOD intentions earned a disabled Woolooga pensioner a $1000 fine this week.

John Edward Wade, 57, pleaded guilty in Gympie Magistrates Court to providing a false declaration.

The court heard Wade filled out and signed a statutory declaration at the Gympie Police Station on Australia Day, claiming he was the driver of a vehicle that had been booked for speeding in Bundaberg on January 17.

Wade’s lawyer said he signed the document because he wanted to help his friend, the mother of four children aged between 11 and three-years-old, through a “rough patch”.

The court heard Wade was not aware his friend had been physically pulled over before making the declaration and did not initially understand the seriousness of the offence.

“My client was simply attempting to assist a friend who he thought may lose her licence,” the defence lawyer said.

A Gympie region pensioner has been convicted of falsifying a statutory declaration.
A Gympie region pensioner has been convicted of falsifying a statutory declaration.

“Do you understand you have pleaded guilty to a very serious offence, one that could include jail time?” Magistrate Chris Callaghan asked.

“I realise you did it to help someone else because you have a good traffic history.”

Mr Callaghan went on to press that Wade’s misguided intentions may have been counter-productive.

“It could be that if her driving is that bad, and she has accumulated so many points, she shouldn’t be driving at all, but that’s not up to you to decide.

“The system has got to rely on people being honest,” he said.

Mr Callaghan took into account that Wade had no previous criminal history and fined him $1000 and a conviction was recorded.

“You’ve been caught out and others must be deterred from following your example,” Mr Callaghan said.