A former New Brunswick man caught driving without a licence admitted to a judge Wednesday he’s been behind the wheel occasionally since moving to this province 12 years ago.
“I drove across the country, no licence or insurance,” declared Garfield Odell. “My mom needed me. I just did it.”
Odell immediately admitted to Mounties at a checkstop in Magna Bay when he was pulled over in March this year that he had no licence. But he said he didn’t know he was prohibited from driving.
The Crown’s case was handled by articling student Jessica Vliegenthart
“He got a few tickets when he moved here, never paid them and continued to drive without being caught,” she said.
Odell, 43, said he is living on a disability amount following a back injury. He pleaded guilty to driving while prohibited.
“I’ve been driving ever since this, to get to the doctor,” he said.
He told Judge Stella Frame that a driving ban will hurt his chances of finding work and said he’ll struggle with a recommended $500 fine.
But Frame warned Odell his luck is up and he could face jail as a consequence of further convictions.
“We have dozens and dozens of people in court in dire circumstances who can’t drive. We expect them, as we expect you, to find other transportation.”
Frame sentenced Odell to a $575 fine and a one-year driving ban.
“It’s not enough to be honest when you’re pulled over,” she warned. “You need to act honestly, too.”