PLATE MISTAKE: A 25-year-old man lost his licence for two years and was lugged with a $1400 fine.
PLATE MISTAKE: A 25-year-old man lost his licence for two years and was lugged with a $1400 fine.

$1400 fine for Lockyer Valley road menace

FAKE number plates weren’t enough to let Sean Kneale slide under the radar.

When police saw his black Mitsubishi Lancer parked in the carpark of Lockyer Markets in Crowley Vale, they went to investigate and found the number plates were registered to another vehicle.

As well as sporting fake plates, the 25-year-old’s car was unregistered and uninsured.

Gatton Magistrates Court heard Kneale himself was not only unlicensed but disqualified from driving by court order – a charge which carries a mandatory two-year driving disqualification.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Molinaro told Magistrate Graham Lee that while patrolling in Crowley Vale at 7am on September 28, police spotted Kneale’s car.

“They conducted checks, which revealed the plates were cancelled and were last attached to a Commodore sedan,” Sgt Molinaro said.

Police seized the plates for fingerprinting and tracked down the owner of the car the plates were supposed to be registered to.

“He told police (Kneale) had recently bought it from him,” Sgt Molinaro said.

Police tracked down the buyer – Kneale – and were told Kneale had driven it to a Lifeline shop to “help out a friend and was aware of the risk he took”.

Kneale admitted to police he had swapped the plates to help hide his identity.

“He was also aware he was disqualified from driving a vehicle,” Sgt Molinaro said.

The court heard Kneale had been charged four times in the past two years for similar offences.

“His traffic history shows a disqualified driving in October 2017 – he also has previous unlicensed driving matters,” Sgt Molinaro said.

Kneale pleaded guilty to four charges and was fined $1400.

His conviction was recorded and he also lost his license for another two years.

Mr Lee told Kneale he was lucky he was given the mandatory sentence.

“The range is two to five years you could be disqualified for,” Mr Lee said.

“I can assure you, if you come back disqualified driving again, don’t expect the same sort of leniency.”