GSH is a South-African born actor, who moved to Australia at age 15 to study theatre. When he arrived in Australia GSH could only speak rough street English: three years later he graduated at the top of his high school drama class and was offered places in all three of Australia’s top acting schools.
GSH was charged for driving with a high concentration of alcohol in his blood following a collision with a parked car. Earlier that night GSH had driven to a pub to drink with friends. He had organised to stay within walking distance at a friend’s house, and pick up his car the following day. At the end of the night GSH began walking, but soon had to turn back due to the dangerous weather conditions. The evening in question was the night of Sydney’s ‘Stormageddon’, a weather event that caused widespread flooding across Sydney and the loss of power to 20,000 homes. GSH ran back to his car and made the snap-decision to drive to his friend’s place. One the way there, the extremely wet conditions caused GSH’s old Daihatsu to slip while turning a corner. The car collided with a parked, unoccupied vehicle. GSH was the only one injured in the collision.
GSH plead guilty to the offence at the earliest possible opportunity. At the sentencing hearing the defence submitted that GSH’s offence, while not trivial, was characterised by several unique extenuating circumstances. From a position of severe disadvantage, GSH had worked extremely hard during his years in Australia for an opportunity to follow his dreams. A sentence of imprisonment would have an especially severe effect on GSH, as it could damage his application for permanent residency and make it impossible for him to work in theatre.
On the strength of these submissions, GSH was sentenced to a good behaviour bond of two years, along with a fine and a suspension of his licence.