A STUDENT with $17,000 of fines owing has been warned if he doesn’t comply with court orders he could be jailed.
John Trethewie, 32, of Dunvegan Court in Warrnambool, appeared in Warrnambool Magistrates Court on Tuesday with 70 infringement warrants owed mostly for parking tickets issued between August 2006 and January 2011.
Mr Trethewie, who was unrepresented in court, said he had been paying off the fines at $100 a month but stopped when he lost his job.
Mr Trethewie told magistrate Jonathan Klestadt it was not a case of him having parked where he liked when he liked.
He said at the time when most of the fines were accrued he was working as a waiter in South Yarra.
Mr Trethewie said there was limited parking and he moved his car throughout his shift.
The parking fines were issued in Prahran, Windsor, Northcote and South Yarra.
The court heard Mr Trethewie was studying environmental science at Deakin University.
Mr Klestadt said there was ample public transport around South Yarra and he questioned why Mr Trethewie should be allowed to ignore the penalties.
He said the matters had accrued because Mr Trethewie had behaved as if the law didn’t apply to him.
Mr Klestadt said Mr Trethewie needed to understand that had he taken the hard line, he could have imprisoned Mr Trethewie for four-and-a-half months.
He said the penalties for simply ignoring the laws in place were there because we live in an orderly society.
He said part of the social contract was the people agreed to obey the laws of the state.
He said ultimately all the community could do to enforce the laws was deprive Mr Trethewie of his liberty.
Mr Klestadt partially discharged the penalty to $10,000 now outstanding and ordered Mr Trethewie to complete 356 hours of community work over the next 18 months.
He said if Mr Trethewie breached the order he may have to pay the money or go to jail.