A man with a record of driving offences copped a $3000 fine after appearing in Ballarat Court on Monday, charged with disqualified driving and speeding in a school zone.
The court was told Ashley Nutt, 26, had been recorded by police at 3.28pm on 31 May 2018, driving at 57km in a 40km zone near the Macarthur Street Primary School.
Nutt appeared before Magistrate Gregory Robinson charged with speeding and with driving while disqualified, after having been disqualified on 22 January 2018 for nine months, following a collision in Sturt Street.
Defence lawyer Adrian Paull said his client had been going to pick up his child from school and “didn’t realise he was speeding.”
Mr Robinson referred to Nutt’s prior driving offences, including three driving while suspended offences and a serious driving matter in 2012 that ended up in the County Court.
Mr Paull said the major driving offences had occurred when Nutt was just 20 and that he had since “turned his life around.”
He said his client had moved to Queensland “for a fresh start” but, after having applied for more than 60 jobs without success, had returned to Victoria with his partner and had obtained a job and was “working hard.”
He said Nutt had tried to find someone else to pick up his son, had not been able to and had “taken a chance and got caught.”
“It was a very poor decision, no doubt about it,” Mr Paull said, requesting Nutt be allowed to keep working.
Mr Robinson said, given Nutt’s driving record, he had been “seriously considering a jail term.”
“You seem to think you are above the law,” he said to Nutt, “and that is unfair to those who do abide by the law and who, instead of driving, use taxis, ubers, public transport and other means.”
“I think there has to be a consequence. I wouldn’t be doing much of a job if there was no punishment … there has to be a sting,” Mr Robinson said.
“You have come close to a term of imprisonment today and there absolutely won’t be any sympathy next time.”
Nutt was fined an aggregate of $3000, ordered to pay court costs of $124.30 and disqualified from driving for three months.
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