The West

Serial drink driver jailed
Mitchell William Donald Walsh leaves court after a previous appearance . Picture: John Mokrzycki

The serial drink driver who knocked down and killed schoolgirl Jess Meehan has been sentenced to nine months in jail over his latest driving charge.

Mitchell William Donald Walsh, who used to be known as Mitchell Walsh McDonald, was caught driving while disqualified in Yokine in January 2013.

He decided to get behind the wheel of a car after one of his employees failed to pick him up for work.

In sentencing today, Magistrate Joe Randazzo said Walsh had put his personal interests above the law.

"It is unbelievable that you have not received the message not to drive," he said.

"You understood that to drive without authority placed you at great risk."

Walsh has also been banned from holding a licence for another 15 months, which will be cumulative on existing disqualifications.

Walsh had a blood alcohol reading of 0.165 when he knocked over 10-year-old Jess Meehan after she rode her bicycle into his path in Clarkson in 2003.

He argued even if he was sober he would not have been able to avoid the collision and was found not guilty of dangerous driving causing death.

Jess Meehan's death in 2003 led to new laws for drink drivers involved in serious accidents. .

Jess' death prompted a change in WA law known as Jess' Law, which meant drivers with a blood alcohol reading of more than 0.15 who were involved in fatal or serious accidents would be charged with dangerous driving causing death or grievous bodily harm.

Walsh's lawyer Oliver Paxman said his client was suffering lingering psychological issues from the tragedy, which could be causing him to re-offend.

"Despite his best intentions, he keeps stuffing up," he said.

Walsh has been caught driving with a blood alcohol reading in excess of 0.08 four times and driving while under suspension eight times.

Four of the driving while under suspension charges occurred on the same day.

In August 2013, Walsh admitted to driving with a blood alcohol reading of 0.103 and breaching an extraordinary driver's licence.

The extraordinary licence was granted to him 10 months earlier for work.

Walsh's sentence was backdated to April 16.

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