Unlicensed driver warned to refrain from driving or go to jail

A SEBASTOPOL mother has been given an ultimatum to refrain from driving for the next six months or risk going to jail, a court has heard.

Mandy Rye, 45, from Sebastopol pleaded guilty in the Ballarat Magistrates Court yesterday to six charges of unlicensed driving and four of using an unregistered motor vehicle on a highway. 

The court heard Rye had also accumulated 49 penalty infringements, for failing to pay speeding and toll road fines, worth about 


Ballarat police prosecutor Acting Sergeant Michelle Kilburn read charges of unlicensed driving dating between August last year and January 17 this year. 

Magistrate Gerard Lethbridge said Rye had accumulated such a significant amount of charges he could not pull them all up on his screen during the court proceedings. 

The court heard police had issued a warrant for Rye’s arrest on November 27 last year, where she appeared in court at a later date and was granted bail. 

But Mr Lethbridge noted that Rye had received a further four charges recorded on December 9 last year and January 17 this year, while she was on bail. 

Defence lawyer Tal Karp said her client was previously addicted to cannabis and heroin, but had not used a drug of dependence in the past 12 months. 

She said her client suffered from persistent depressive disorder. 

The court heard Rye was completing community work and had six hours remaining on the first order,

followed by 148 hours on the second. 

“She wants the next 20 years to be different from her last 20 years,” Ms Karp said. 

“My client wants this to be her last time in court.” 

Mr Lethbridge said he was puzzled that Rye still owned a car, despite her driver’s licence expiring in 2004. 

Ms Karp said her client had made attempts to sell the car and yesterday received a letter and a $200 deposit for the vehicle. 

Mr Lethbridge said Rye was of the belief the law did not apply to her. 

“You must go to jail for this sort of offending that is so persistent and continuously breaches court orders,” he said. 

Mr Lethridge adjourned the proceedings until August 20 and bailed Rye on the condition she did not drive a motor vehicle in the meantime.

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