Ballarat man caught driving suspended 12 times

UPDATE | Matthew Lucas has been disqualified from driving for two years.

Magistrate Peter Reardon on Wednesday told Lucas, who had previously pleaded guilty to 24 driving related charges, the number of times he was caught driving while suspended was “quite amazing”.

”You are a real concern on the roads … not only that, but you knew you shouldn’t be driving,” he said.

In sentencing Lucas, Mr Reardon said he took into account the accused’s dysfunctional background.

But he told Lucas it was ultimately up to him to decide on how to deal with it.

“You can accept it for what it was and you can do something with your life, or you can use it as an excuse (and potentially end up in custody again),” he said.

On all charges, Lucas was jailed for 30 days which he has already served.

Upon his release from custody Lucas will commence an 18-month community corrections order.

“I’m telling you now you cannot drive for two years … the consequences for you will be jail,” Mr Reardon said.

“That’s up to you.”

EARLIER, TUESDAY | A 23-year-old Ballarat man who was caught driving while suspended more than 10 times will face court on Wednesday.

Magistrate Peter Reardon remanded Matthew Lucas into custody to be sentenced tomorrow at 2pm.

The Ballarat Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday heard Lucas was intercepted a dozen times between January 7, 2016 and the time of his arrest in March of this year.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Sam Young told the court Lucas was intercepted twice in two days last May, and on another two occasions was caught driving on drugs.

In October, he said Lucas was also caught doing a burnout in the Big W car park.

The court heard Lucas fled the carpark as police went to intercept him.

Senior Constable Young said Lucas turned into Mair Street onto the wrong side of the road and then ran a red light.

While police did not pursue Lucas, a detailed description of the car led police to Lucas’ Wendouree address the following day.

Lucas is also facing a number of other charges after police found a selection of stolen goods, including an oven, 48 packs of socks and mattresses, at his house.

Lucas’ lawyer, Alan Hands, told the court his client “flirted” with drugs after he found himself unable to find a job.

While Mr Hands said the drug problem was only recent, he submitted a lengthy community corrections order was the most appropriate sentence to help his client rehabilitate.

As for the stolen goods, Mr Hands said his client was a “tip rat” who went around looking in bins for junk to make money.

Mr Hands said his client has now learnt not to take anything without a receipt. 

He added time in custody had been both a wake up call and a chance to “dry out” from drugs.