Garry John Newton leaves court.
Garry John Newton leaves court. Felicity Caldwell

Drink-driver slams into house

AN ALCOHOLIC smashed his car into a house while a staggering seven times the legal limit.

Police rushed to Goodna on February 2 after reports a man had crashed his car into a house on Mill St about 6pm.

When they arrived, the driver – Garry John Newton – was so drunk he could barely stand.

Ipswich Magistrates Court was told Newton’s speech was slurred, he smelt heavily of liquor and he had to sit down repeatedly in order to not fall over.

The 47-year-old was breathalysed and recorded 0.350.

Prosecutor Sergeant Mathew Donnelly said Newton could not provide a reason for driving at the time.

“He stated it was a stupid mistake,” Sgt Donnelly said.

Newton pleaded guilty to driving under the influence of liquor and driving while disqualified.

The court heard Newton’s licence had been disqualified absolutely two decades earlier.

Newton was placed on 18 months probation and his licence was disqualified for three-and-a-half years.

He must also submit to psychological and medical treatment as directed.

Defence lawyer Alexis Oxley said her client was an alcoholic and was drinking eight litres of alcohol a day at the time.

Ms Oxley said Newton could not remember the crash or even getting behind the wheel.

“His parents died on the same weekend in 2007,” Ms Oxley said.

“As a consequence he started hitting the bottle quite heavily and he’s consuming about eight litres of alcohol a day.”

Ms Oxley said Newton, who received Centrelink benefits, had stayed out of trouble for 10 years and hoped to get more counselling.

Magistrate Virginia Sturgess told Newton the reading was “frighteningly high” and she hoped probation would help him address his alcohol issues.

“I’m concerned that you do something about your alcohol addiction, but I’m also concerned to ensure you’re not an ongoing danger to the public,” Ms Sturgess said.

“Your reading was .350 – it’s not surprising that you had a crash.”

Newton told the court he was not interested in driving.

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