News

Man, 87, with Alzheimer’s forgets he doesn’t have a licence

A MAN with Alzheimer's, who forgot he didn't have a licence and then drove his car, has had his charges dismissed in Hervey Bay Magistrates Court.

Kenneth James Ainsworth, 87, appeared in court on Wednesday facing charges of unlicensed driving, and failing to provide his identifying particulars to the police.

Mr Ainsworth was supported by his wife and daughter in court, with his wife telling Magistrate Graeme Tatnell she would speak on behalf of her husband, due to his struggles with Alzheimer's disease.

Mrs Ainsworth did not think much of her husband's charges, calling the notice to appear before the court and the notice to give identifying particulars a "...packet of poo tickets".

"I don't think I've ever heard to them referred to as packet of poo tickets," Mr Tatnell said, taken aback by the feisty woman.

Mr Tatnell then asked Mr Ainsworth if he understood the charges against him.

Mr Ainsworth said he did not.

"As far as I know, I've never lost my licence," he said.

Neither Mr and Mrs Ainsworth, nor their daughter, disputed the fact Mr Ainsworth had been caught driving without a licence, but Mr Tatnell expressed concerns about accepting a guilty plea.

Due to Mr Ainsworth's dementia, Mr Tatnell held that he did not have the capacity to enter a plea, and dismissed the charges.

Before doing so, however, Mr Tatnell made sure Mr Ainsworth's daughter understood the seriousness of the situation, and sought an undertaking from her that she would make sure her father no longer had access to car keys.

"It's a huge danger to the community," Mr Tatnell said.

The daughter said she understood, and would do all the driving for her father from now on.

Marcy Scarlett, the communications manager for Alzheimer's Australia (Queensland) said cases of Alzheimer's sufferers forgetting they were not supposed to drive was not unheard of.

She said there were a number of ways friends and family members could support sufferers of the condition and tips could be found online at fightdementia.org.au.

People can also phone 1800 100 500 for counselling or advice, Ms Scarlett said.

Topics:  alzheimer's, court, editors picks, hervey bay, licence, police



Join the Community.

Get your local news, your way.

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Close but no cigar for Group 2 Gladiators against Group 3

Another huge game from Sawtell’s Lachie Miller (centre) sees him in the North Coast rep team.

Group 2 go down by two points in annual CRL rep battle

Snappers take charge in dying moments while Marlins go down

Referee Darren Jameson awards Kempsey a penalty in the meeting with Coffs Snappers.

Snappers, Pirates and Redmen win in Telstra MNC Rugby

Million dollar ice seizure after Coffs Harbour vehicle stop

Seizures of methylamphetamine by Coffs Harbour police continue with a $1 million shipment confiscated at a Pacific Highway car stop.

Police seize methylamphetamine at Coffs Harbour

Latest deals and offers


Rally Australia Chair Ben Rainsford

Kennards Hire Rally Australia will bring spectacular world rally action back to the NSW Coffs Coast on November 17-20.

Rally Australia Chairman Ben Rainsford comments on Coffs Harbour City Council...

AFL North Coast preview

BACK IN THE FOLD: Grafton’s Josh Lollback returns to the line-up for today’s knockout semi final clash against Port Macquarie. Photo: Debrah Novak/Daily Examiner

Paul Taylor and Allanah Hanson take a look at the AFL North Coast news ahead of...

British family bashed in Thailand

Family beaten and kicked unconscious by gang in Thailand.

Family beaten and kicked unconscious by gang in Thailand.

Renting harder in Coffs than Sydney

HIGH DEMAND: Coffs Harbour rental properties are in higher demand than in Sydney.

Coffs Harbour’s rental vacancy rate at lowest level in eight years

How a sacked real estate agent made $725k in four months

Agent is now under investigation by the industry watchdog

VIDEO: Art Deco fan pays $835,000 for Imperial Hotel

No Caption

Iconic "Impy" sold at a bargan price to bidder who loves Art Deco.