An Inverell man has had his case heard after it was adjourned because he contracted COVID-19.
Appearing in person at Inverell Local Court on Thursday, Liam Jamieson Hoynes, 28, was convicted of his second offence of driving with illicit drugs in his system.
When police officers asked him if he'd taken drugs, he said: "I don't".
He was meant to appear before Inverell Local Court earlier in October, however had written in saying he'd contracted COVID-19.
"Have you been cleared by the Sherriff to enter court today?" Magistrate Holly Kemp asked him as he took to the microphone.
"Oh yes, absolutely," he said.
"I was meant to be cleared for court last time but I wasn't - it didn't come through."
He told her that while he believed he had been clear of the virus at the last mention, his official clearance didn't come through until shortly afterward.
"But I am clear now," he affirmed.
Representing himself, Hoynes told the magistrate he'd "moved away and got a job" and was "trying to stay away from Inverell."
He told her he'd "had to pick his brother up" and "wasn't in prison anymore" when she asked why he was driving.
Magistrate Kemp said there'd be a financial penalty for him, however the "real sting in the tail" would come from the time off the road, especially considering this was a second offence.
He had been charged and convicted of driving with illicit drugs in his system in 2018.
She convicted him of the charge, fined him $600 and disqualified him for six months.
"Don't get behind the wheel during this disqualification period," she warned him.
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