ONE Ballarat man received a suspended sentence and another was placed on a good behaviour bond in court yesterday for a range of driving offences.
Adam Bentley, 21, appeared at the Ballarat Magistrates Court where he pleaded guilty to driving an unregistered vehicle and to the theft of number plates.
The court heard that Bentley was stopped by police in Peel Street on August 10, 2009, when he was 18 years old.
Police prosecutor Senior Constable Pepe Brown said Bentley admitted to driving the unregistered vehicle, but said he only “found” the stolen plates and attached them to the vehicle.
Yesterday, Bentley pleaded guilty to the theft charge.
Defence lawyer Natalie Heynes said her client’s offending was in the context of a difficult stage of his life, when he was effectively homeless.
She said that since the incident, Bentley had turned his life around.
Magistrate Michelle Hodgson warned if Bentley came back to court, he could be facing a conviction.
He was sentenced to give an undertaking of good behaviour for 12 months.
Also yesterday, Mark Blake appeared at the same court and pleaded guilty to two counts of driving while suspended.
The court heard that Blake was detected by an automatic number plate recognition system on May 9 this year, then again by police on July 9.
On both occasions he told police he thought he was allowed to drive because he had “called VicRoads”.
Defence lawyer Mike Wardell told the court it had been a turbulent period for his client and asked Magistrate Michelle Hodgson for a sentence indication before a plea was entered.
Ms Hodgson condemned Blake’s behaviour.
“You can’t drive if you’re suspended,” she said.
“If your licence has been suspended, it’s for a good reason.”
Ms Hodgson sentenced Blake to one month imprisonment, wholly suspended for 12 months.
He was also fined $250.