Prison for man in 12th drink driving offence

By Trevor Quinn

A 33-year-old Carterton man was convicted of his 12th drink-driving charge at Masterton District Court earlier this month.

Leon James White was also convicted of breaching a protection order and assault, and was sentenced to 12 months in prison.

Senior Sergeant Jodie Lawrence said that, about 6.25pm on October 13, White drove to Masterton and tried to gain access to the home of his estranged partner, who had a protection order in place.

When she would not let him in, he forcibly pushed past her and punched another man, who went to her aid, in the head. He later told police he wanted to see his daughter and he was upset another man was in the house.

White was later stopped by police in his vehicle and arrested on the Blairlogie-Langdale road.

He was found to have 1190 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath, almost three times the legal limit.

It was White's 12th drink-driving related conviction since 1997.

Defence lawyer Louise Elder told Judge Tony Walsh all her client's offending was linked to alcohol.

"While he has been inside he has had a chance to consider things, he has taken a parenting course and he has tried to keep as busy as possible," she said.

Ms Elder said White's drinking had cost him his job and his relationship. "This man has lost a lot. He's very intelligent and hardworking, but his demon is drink," she said. "I ask you to give serious consideration to substituting imprisonment for home detention."

Judge Walsh described White as having a "serious drinking problem" and 71 previous convictions.

The pre-sentence report said White was at high risk of re-offending and recommended imprisonment.

Judge Walsh sentenced White to 12 months in jail and banned him from holding a driving licence for 18 months for the driving offence. "I acknowledge your need for rehabilitation but I also have to consider the public safety," he said.


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