Ballarat man tells police 30cm knife 'opens mail'

A SEBASTOPOL man found sleeping in his car with drugs and a 30-centimetre knife told police he used the weapon to open his mail, a court has heard. 

Troy Rule, 39, appeared in Ballarat Magistrates Court yesterday where he was jailed for two months after his bizarre defence was quashed by magistrate Cynthia Toose. 

Pleading guilty to charges, including unlicensed driving and possessing a controlled weapon, Rule’s lawyer urged Ms Toose to remember what Rule originally told police. 

“He instructs that he does use it (the knife), as he told police, to open his mail,” the lawyer said. 

Ms Toose said she did not accept the defence. 

Detailing the offending to the court, police prosecutor Sergeant Ivan Blomley said Rule was found sleeping in his car with a female at the Coles supermarket in Sebastopol about 8pm on February 14 this year. 

Sergeant Blomley said police attended the supermarket after being contacted by several individuals who called for a welfare check on the people in the car. 

The court heard it took some time to wake the pair and that police eventually found drugs in the centre console, while the large knife fell from Rule’s pants as he was being searched. 

The court heard Rule has been in custody for more serious matters since February 16 when he was arrested after an alleged police pursuit through Wendouree. 

Sergeant Blomley told the court Rule has a “massive” history of driving offences, with Ms Toose adding he had more than 50 pages of prior convictions. 

His lawyer said this incident of unlicensed driving was “less aggravating” in that he hadn’t actually been driving the car. 

Rule will re-appear in Ballarat Magistrates Court on May 22 for a committal mention hearing over his indictable charges.

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