Disqualified driver who stole to pay for drugs avoids prison

A BALLARAT man who stole perfume to fund his ice habit and drove when disqualified avoided jail at Ballarat Magistrates Court on Tuesday. 

File iamge

File iamge

Bryan Loughnane, 25, received a four-month suspended sentence after pleading guilty to three counts of theft, two counts of driving while disqualified and refusing breath tests. Loughnane spent three months in prison between 2012-13 and had his licence suspended for five years in November 2012 after committing a string of offences including careless and unlicensed driving and refusing a breath test. 

The court heard Loughnane stole $813 worth of perfume from two stores in Melbourne and Ballarat in April and May 2013. 

Defence lawyer Mike Wardell said Loughnane had been “cold turkey” for 12 months and had not committed a crime since the offences in question. 

“He realises it’s not tough to be in prison surrounded by people who have a negative influence on him,” he said. 

Magistrate Peter Reardon said Loughane’s intellectual disability might have contributed to his history of refusing breath tests. 

Mr Reardon said Loughnane’s poor driving history was a major concern. “He places other road users at risk,” he said. 

Mr Reardon said he was aware that prison wasn’t a great environment for people with an intellectual disability. 

Loughnane was fined $1000 for driving an unregistered vehicle and had his licence disqualified for four years.