A 28-year-old Esperance man with eight convictions for driving with a suspended licence has narrowly avoided jail.
David Jonathan Yarran pleaded guilty to driving with a suspended licence and driving with meth in his system in Esperance Magistrates Court on November 5.
Police prosecutor Senior Constable Carolyn Petersen told the court that at 9.50am on June 7, Yarran was stopped by police on Pink Lake Road in Nulsen.
The offender was under four court-imposed suspensions and had 10 outstanding fine suspensions.
Yarran also tested positive for methamphetamine. He told police he had smoked about an hour before.
Snr Constable Petersen said this was his eighth charge for driving with a suspended licence.
Yarran's lawyer Leneva Polmear said her client was "going through a very difficult time" and highlighted the last offence of the same kind was a year ago.
She said Yarran was a builder by trade and was underpaid at the time and had been stretching his money out.
Ms Polmear said he had two young children that he hadn't seen in a while and this had caused him stress.
She said Yarran had received a car from a friend and he was going to do some work on it.
Ms Polmear asked for the sentence to be suspended.
"He knows the consequences, that if he drives again he's going straight to jail," she said.
Senior Constable Petersen asked for an immediate jail term as fines hadn't deterred him from driving and to send a message to the community not to drive under suspension and to pay their fines.
"He is thumbing his nose at the law," she said.
The prosecutor said Yarran had been in court on previous charges and promised he wouldn't drive and was now making the same promise.
Magistrate Brionie Ayling said this was "not a nothing offence" and his guilty plea wasn't entered at the earliest chance.
The magistrate urged Yarran to turns things around for the sake of his children.
"They're relying on you not to put your wage up your arm or up your nose, but to send them some money from time to time," she said.
For driving under suspension, Magistrate Ayling sentenced Yarran to six months and one day in jail, suspended for eight months, and banned him from driving for another nine months. For the drug charge he was fined $300 and charged $410.90 in court and analysis costs.
Magistrate Ayling stressed Yarran had to stay out of trouble.
"That [jail] sentence is waiting in the background for the next eight months," she said.
"You need to treat this as your turning point."