Charges dismissed in ‘extraordinary circumstances’

A Burrill Lake man who suffered a recent family tragedy has had his charges dismissed due to ‘extraordinary circumstances’. 

Darryn Roy Neale, 55, appeared in Milton Local Court on March 16, pleading guilty to mid-range drink driving. 

The court heard Mr Neale has suffered a difficult two years, with the terminal illness of his son. 

Mr Neale’s solicitor told the court on the evening Mr Neale was charged, he’d received a text from his wife at the hospital asking him to come see their son. 

Their son was later brought home from hospital to be with family and died earlier this month. 

Mr Neale’s solicitor said his son’s death has been very difficult on Mr Neale. 

“This is his only child; he’s a broken man,” she said. 

Magistrate Gabriel Fleming told the court the situation was ‘extreme’ and dismissed the charges. 

“I’m very sorry for your loss Mr Neale,” she said. 

“I accept this was an extreme situation and your driving record has only two records in 24 years.

“It’s highly unusual for a court not to record a conviction at this range but no-one was hurt and it was under extenuating circumstances.”

Court documents state at 5.35pm on February 18 police were conducting random breath testing on the Princes Highway, near Camden Street. They stopped Mr Neale and he returned a blood alcohol reading of 0.119. 

Mr Neale told police he’d had six mid strength beers, his first at 2pm and his last at 5pm and had not eaten any food.

He told police he was on his way to Milton Hospital to visit his terminally ill son. Police observed Mr Neale to be very polite and cooperative in their dealings with him.