Repeat offender begins jail term

A WARRNAMBOOL criminal who continually breached a driver’s licence alcohol interlock condition has started serving a five-month jail sentence after going through an appeal process.

Tim Benson, 24, of Glenrowe Avenue, pleaded guilty in the Warrnambool Magistrates Court in early February this year to a string of driving charges, the most serious being repeatedly driving without an interlock device fitted to vehicles.

Benson was caught driving by police six times between August last year and January this year. 

He was found with capsicum spray and regularly did not display P-plates or carry his licence, was driving a manual vehicle in breach of his licence conditions and driving an unregistered car which was carrying false plates.

That offending breached a three-month jail sentence imposed in November 2012.

In addition he breached another two-month Warrnambool County Court suspended sentence imposed in  January last year.

The court heard that since then Benson has been caught driving again and faces another court hearing on April 14 in the Warrnambool Magistrates Court.

In February, Benson was convicted, fined $1000 and jailed for one month. 

The previously suspended three-month sentence meant he had a total effective sentence of four months’ imprisonment.

This week Benson appeared in the Warrnambool County Court for breaching the county court two-month suspended sentence. He abandoned another appeal against the four-month magistrates court jail term.

Judge Paul Grant said there were no exceptional circumstances which would allow Benson to avoid serving the outstanding jail time.

He said that nearly all Benson’s court matters  were now out of the way, he could serve his jail time, get released and recommence his life — hopefully without further offending.

“What you have to do is change your behaviour completely,” Judge Grant told him.

“You have the offer of work and support. It would be a shame if you turned your back on that opportunity. I can only hope you will reflect on your past behaviour.”

Benson has a lengthy criminal history involving driving offences, burglaries, thefts, causing damage and failing to comply with court orders.

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