Magistrate slams driver for appalling driving record

A MAGISTRATE yesterday slammed the actions of one of Ballarat’s worst drivers, highlighting the man’s “stupidity” after he was again caught driving without a licence.

Warning Adam Conroy, 35, that he was lucky to escape with a suspended jail term, magistrate Cynthia Toose said Conroy hadn’t learnt anything from his “appalling” driving record.

“He just doesn't get it,” Ms Toose told the court. 

“The message just has to get through to you sooner or later that you just can’t drive.”

Magistrates will lose the power to impose suspended sentences from the start of September this year as the state government moves ahead with plans to abolish the sentencing option. 

Conroy appeared in Ballarat Magistrates Court where he pleaded guilty to a long list of charges including careless driving, using an unregistered motor car and two counts of unlicensed driving. 

Detailing Conroy’s latest offending, a police prosecutor told the court Conroy was caught by police after slamming into another car in Sturt Street on July 17 last year. 

The court heard Conroy, who was unlicensed and driving an unregistered car, had been darting in and out of traffic and overtaking cars about 11.30am when he collided with the vehicle. 

Acting pro-bono for Conroy due to the immediate threat of jail, lawyer Mike Wardell also commented on his client’s poor driving history. 

“It’s stupidity,” Mr Wardell said.

Agreeing with the lawyer, Ms Toose said the stupidity was more aggravating because Conroy – who knew he should not be driving – was driving in a careless manner which would draw attention from police.

In his client’s defence, Mr Wardell said Conroy lived with a brain injury due to past drug use. 

He also said Conroy was aware that he could go directly to jail. 

Conroy was sentenced to four months jail, wholly suspended for 12-months. 

He was also fined $700.

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