It was the last thing Warriors fans or NRL fans wanted to hear, but it has happened – as New Zealand Warriors fullback Kevin Locke finds himself in danger of missing the start of the 2013 NRL season, as court action is being taken against him a third time – all for driving offences.
It was an incident back in May in Posonby, that led to Locke pleading guilty to the charge of driving whilst disqualified – following earlier charges this year in January (also for driving whilst disqualified), that saw Locke fined $900 and banned from driving for a year.
With the Warriors pre-season beginning in a few short weeks on November 5, it may mean a lengthy sideline stint for Locke, or worse – with Locke facing the possibility of either two years imprisonment for his third driving offence, or a fine of a further $6000 and an additional year of being disqualified from driving.
Sumudu Thode, Locke’s lawyer, said that rather than face disqualification, she would apply for a community-based sentence for Locke.
Wayne Scurrah, the Warriors Chief Executive, said that the club is disappointed in Locke following his latest indiscretion.
“We’re not only disappointed from a club perspective, but also he is flouting the law and we fully appreciate that it’s before the courts and we need to allow them to progress that appropriately.”
With the courts to take respective action, Scurrah said that the club is yet to decide if they will take action of their own.
“We’ll wait for the outcome from the courts and then we’ll determine that with Kevin in confidence.”
What may work in Locke’s favour, however, is that he was merely booked for driving whilst disqualified, rather than being involved in an accident or any form of dangerous driving.
“I think he was just picked up driving while he was clearly disqualified. We will take all the circumstances into account and allow him to go through the court process, and we’ll then talk to him separately from that.”
Locke’s first driving offence came in 2010 in December, before being pulled over again in January 2011 in Whangarei.