South Grafton man disqualified from driving until 2043

BY THE time South Grafton man Desmond Swan can legally sit for his driver's licence, cars as we know them probably won't exist.

That was the opinion of Swan's defence solicitor in Grafton Local Court, as he acknowledged the serial offender's appalling driving record.

Through a series of previous convictions, the 31-year-old, who has never held a motor vehicle licence, was disqualified from driving until 2041.

Today, Magistrate Robyn Denes added two more years to that period, as well as a nine-month jail term, after Swan pleaded guilty to driving while disqualified.

The charge related to an incident on Sunday, when Swan allegedly drove a friend to Grafton Base Hospital to obtain a methadone prescription.

As he drove into the carpark he was identified by officers conducting a police operation around the Grafton jail, but avoided officers by walking quickly into the hospital.

On the way out, he was stopped and spoken to by police, and made full admissions to not having a driver's licence.

During sentencing, Magistrate Denes said it was just a "stupid act", by someone who's never held a licence to drive.

"There are choices that we all make and I do accept... not everyone is in the position to learn how to make good choices... but the bottom line is he made a conscious decision and ran the risk," she said.

"He must know that every time he gets caught he's going to jail."

Swan will be eligible for release in May.

He was just one of five people charged during Operation Vermis which targeted drugs, alcohol and other offences over the weekend. As a result of the operation, 17 people were searched, along with five vehicles.

Three traffic infringement notices were issued, 20 random breath tests were conducted, and one driver was charged with mid-range PCA (drink-drive).

There were also four drug detections, one of which resulted in the seizure of eight MDMA tablets.

According to police, the find came after they searched a 22-year-old Grafton man visiting the Grafton Correctional Centre.

The man ran from police before being arrested a short distance away. It will be alleged he intended to introduce the MDMA into the centre and was charged with supplying prohibited drugs. He will appear in Grafton Local Court on March 13.

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