Herald sun article Drink driver walks free By CARLY CRAWFORD 22jan06 A COUNTY Court judge has overturned a jail sentence imposed on a rogue drunken driver out of pity for the man's Indonesian wife. Stephen Neale, 42, of East Burwood, conceded his driving record was "shameful", before walking free. His lawyer convinced Judge Frances Millane to overturn Neale's earlier jailing by a magistrate because Neale's Indonesian wife, who spoke little English, would be badly affected. Neale has a long history of dangerous traffic violations, including driving at more than 50km/h over the speed limit, breaching a suspended sentence and repeatedly driving while disqualified. Neale breached a two-month suspended sentence on New Year's Day last year by driving while disqualified and driving with a blood-alcohol content of .127. That suspended sentence had been imposed a year earlier, after Neale was caught driving on a footpath -- again with a .127 reading. Neale was stripped of his licence for speeding as a probationary driver. Since 1981, he has amassed 38 charges and traffic infringements costing him $4460. He has been caught six times on drink-driving offences and on nine occasions he was caught driving while disqualified or suspended. Late last year, magistrate Hal Hallenstein sentenced Neale to six months' jail and disqualified him from driving for five years for last year's breach and related charges. Neale's lawyer, Tom Sawyer, told Judge Millane this week: "There can only be one way to describe Neale's history -- it's disgraceful, shameful and extremely embarrassing. He understands that." Since his arrest last January, Neale had attended Alcoholics Anonymous and sold his car. "It was his final wake-up call," Mr Sawyer said. Mr Sawyer submitted that his client's jailing would badly affect the man's Indonesian wife, who spoke little English. Judge Millane granted Neale's appeal and wholly suspended the jail term.