Identity thief got wrong man locked up

A MAN who spent 23 days in jail for a crime committed by an identity thief has finally had his name cleared.

Convictions for Anthony Roderick Hawkins were quashed when the matter was heard in Sandgate Magistrates Court.

Mr Hawkins' bizarre case unfolded when he was intercepted by police while driving through Dalby in 2014 and found to have a breath alcohol concentration higher than the legal limit.

When taken to the local station for further analysis, he was told there was an outstanding warrant for his arrest for dangerous driving and driving under the influence of liquor (0.221) at Deagon on September 9, 1997. However, he told officers this could not have been him.

High-profile Sunshine Coast lawyer, Peter Boyce, representing Mr Hawkins, told the court on Thursday that his client was then wrongfully imprisoned for 23 days for crimes he had not committed.

His innocence had been proven by evidence he had been working at Crown Casino in Melbourne at the time the Brisbane offences were committed.

In a submission to Magistrate Jennifer Batts, Mr Boyce said his client had spent a night in Dalby watchhouse and four nights at Toowoomba watchhouse before being transferred to the Brisbane Correctional Centre at Wacol on December 23, 2014, where he spent 18 nights.

Mr Boyce said that since December 17, 2014, Mr Hawkins had continuously protested his innocence to police and had been making representations to have the convictions overturned.

Magistrate Batts "set aside'' the convictions for Mr Hawkins, who did not have to appear and now lives in Melbourne.