Man jailed after driving while disqualified just one hour after his release

After spending seven months behind bars, you would think you would be eager to stop and smell the roses on the day of your release. 

Wagga Local Court

Wagga Local Court

Or in Ricky Lupica’s case – before you’re thrown back in prison. 

The 43-year-old man, of Parklea, waited just one hour before getting behind the wheel while disqualified on the day of his release from Junee Correctional Centre. 

Disqualified for three years at Penrith District Court in relation to a police pursuit, Lupica was set to be off the road until August 25, 2019. 

Time behind bars wasn’t enough to deter him, caught driving when he was pulled over for a random drug and alcohol test on Lorne Street at Junee. 

According to facts tendered to the court, Lupica told police he didn’t have his licence because he had just been released. 

Jim Allen, who represented Lupica, told the court his client wasn’t intending to thwart court orders and thought he was OK to drive. 

“He hadn’t taken it in that he was disqualified,” Mr Allen said. 

“He has a poor record in terms of custody but his traffic record for his age isn’t too bad.” 

Magistrate Erin Kennedy told Lupica she didn’t accept his explanation, as he appeared in court from custody via video link. 

“You don’t forget an hour after you’re released from custody, while you are on parole,” Ms Kennedy said. 

Lupica was sentenced to seven months’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of four months. 

He was disqualified for an additional two years.