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Conviction no barrier to future political career

"NELSON Mandela had a conviction recorded and had a very healthy and high-profile political career.”

This is what Magistrate Simon Young told an Airlie Beach man who pleaded guilty to mid-range drink-driving.

Lachlan Robert Queenan, 29, told the court that it would help him pursue his "passionate dream” of a political career if a conviction wasn't recorded for the offence.

"I've travelled Australia eight times, I'm an electrician by trade and a professional mariner and I believe in a stronger Australia,” he said.

"This is a story (where) I can tell people that this was the wrong thing to do ... I shouldn't have been driving.

"It was an out-of-character move.”

Magistrate Young told Queenan he was not satisfied that recording a conviction would have a disproportionate impact on his employment and pointed to South Africa's most revolutionary leader as an example of what a criminal conviction can lead to in the long term.

President Mandela was jailed for 27 years for "conspiring to overthrow the state”.

Queenan recorded a reading of 0.102 at Hungry Jacks on Shute Harbour Rd.

He was disqualified from driving for five months and fined $650 with a conviction recorded.


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