Drunk motorbike rider left paralysed, banned

WHEN Mackay man Nathan Edward Charles Grima drove his motorbike drunk and crashed, the impact on his life was permanent.

Grima, 27, broke down in tears as he faced Mackay Magistrates Court for sentencing yesterday.

His partner, who'd pushed Grima into court in a wheelchair, fought tears.

Prosecutor Senior Constable Duncan Erskine told the court that on April 4, emergency services arrived at the scene on Bruce Highway in Paget, where Grima was found lying on the road.

Police discovered Grima's Yamaha motorbike was unregistered.

Grima was also found to be driving on a learner's licence without a supervisor.

A witness said Grima had been driving "at speed" with no lights on before crashing.

Grima was transported to Mackay Base Hospital with suspected spinal injuries.

His blood alcohol limit was 0.101, twice the legal limit.

Snr Const Erskine said Grima had no like traffic history, though in 2013 he was sentenced with assault occasioning bodily harm.

"The defendant's lucky that he's not otherwise injured more seriously," he said.

Grima, who represented himself in court, said part of his body was paralysed permanently.

Magistrate Nerida Wilson asked Grima if he could still drive.

He answered yes, and Magistrate Wilson asked if he needed his licence to get to medical appointments.

"Yeah, and we have two kids," said Grima, and his voice trailed off he broke into tears.

Magistrate Wilson said she took into account in her sentencing that Grima had already "paid the highest price" for his drink driving.

"It gives me no pleasure in doing this, but I'm mandatorily required to disqualify (your licence), which places an even greater burden on you," she said.

Magistrate Wilson fined Grima $600 and his licence was disqualified for three months.



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