A CANBERRA man who claims to have a psychotic condition which is relieved by driving uphill very fast has had his driver’s licence cancellation halved on appeal.
Marcus Kilimnik, 60, appealed against the severity of his 36-month penalty to Warrnambool County Court yesterday.
He was previously convicted and fined $2750 in Hamilton Magistrates Court on June 13 this year for driving while disqualified and speeding.
The court heard that in September last year police had a driver pulled over on the side of the Glenelg Highway at Coleraine when Kilimnik approached in a Mazda. He was detected on radar travelling at 135km/h in a 100km/h zone and found to be driving while disqualified as the result of another speeding offence in Bairnsdale.
Kilimnik’s prior driving offences included 19 speeding charges in New South Wales since 1986 — 14 of those since May 2010.
He also has 11 speeding offences in the ACT since January 2008.
Defence counsel Robert Thyssen admitted his client had an extensive list of prior driving matters but claimed the period of disqualification, well above the one-month minimum, was “quite extreme”.
Submitting a number of medical reports to the court, he said most of Kilimnik’s driving offences had been committed in a confined period of time.
Judge Bill Stuart said that on face value Kilimnik had a cavalier attitude to travelling at high speed in various Australian states and territories.
He said a reporting psychiatrist had identified that Kilimnik suffered from a paranoid psychotic illness and was treated as an inpatient between November 25 and December 10 last year.
He was treated with anti-psychotic medication which Mr Thyssen submitted had assisted with the condition.
A psychiatrist stated in a report that Kilimnik suffered wild intrinsic psychotic behaviour, which included “driven behaviour”.
He said Kilimnik described energy rising up in his chest which was relieved by the movements of driving and by driving fast, particularly uphill.
Judge Stuart said that since losing his driving licence Kilimnik now took taxi rides around the Canberra hills at night to relieve the symptoms. However, whether his psychiatric condition had anything to do with the offence was pure speculation, he said.
Judge Stuart said Kilimnik told police he had just bought the car and wanted to go for a drive, and that he might have been a bit over the speed limit but not that fast — an explanation that did not fit with the submissions made by the psychiatrist.
Judge Stuart said he found Kilimnik’s mental health issues had absolutely nothing to do with the Coleraine speeding. He imposed the same fines of $2750 but reduced the period of licence disqualification to 18 months.