Ballarat father avoids jail

A man who was caught by police driving while he was suspended to “get his kids lunch” has avoided jail.

A man who was caught by police driving while he was suspended to “get his kids lunch” has avoided jail.

A man who was caught by police driving while he was suspended to “get his kids lunch” has avoided jail.

Ballarat man Shane Withers was intercepted by police on January 16 for a random licence check where it was discovered the car was unregistered and Withers was a suspended driver. 

The court was told his car was impounded and Withers told police he had only gone out to “get his kids some lunch”.

Withers who appeared at the Ballarat Magistrates Court on Friday has previously pleaded to three driving related charges.

The court heard Withers has also previously served two months in jail after he requested Magistrate Cynthia Toose incarcerate him earlier this year.

The court heard Withers had struggled with mental health issues and was “in a bad place” and “at risk of self harming” after the incident.   

Withers’ defence lawyer, David Taminika told the court his client had made “extraordinary changes” to turn his life since being released from prison. 

The court heard Withers had completed a parenting course as well as an alcohol dependency course.

Mr Taminika said he was also seeking ongoing support for his mental health issues from a psychologist and had begun working again.  

Withers was supported in court by his mother and partner.

In sentencing Withers, Ms Toose warned if he re-offended he would be back before the courts with a harsher penalty imposed.

“While I am imposing a financial penalty on you, it in no way diminishes the message I want to get out to you that if you go to do any similar type of offending you will be back before me,” she said. 

“You have made some remarkable changes and I acknowledge that sometimes takes conviction and courage.”

“But you also need to have courage to continue on that path because there are a lot of people depending on and supporting you from your kids, girlfriend to your mum.

“Only you can follow through with those positive changes.”

Ms Toose fined Withers $1200 fine with a conviction.

No bail for Ballarat man charged with aggravated burglary 

  • In a separate case, a Ballarat man facing a string of charges, including aggravated burglary, appeared in court. Travis Scott briefly appeared at the Ballarat Magistrates Court facing 16 separate charges. Scott made no application for bail. Magistrate Cynthia Toose ordered Scott to return to the Ballarat Magistrates Court on January 19.