Wake up call for serial offender

A WARRNAMBOOL man caught four times driving unregistered cars while his licence was suspended will be forced to complete 120 hours of unpaid community work.

James Cameron Elliott, 19, of Koroit Street, pleaded guilty in Warrnambool Magistrates Court to a total of 14 charges — four counts of driving while suspended, four counts of driving unregistered cars, driving with more than one passenger while on a probationary licence, two counts of failing to display licence plates, driving more than 40km/h above the speed limit, failing to correctly display P-plates, and failing to answer bail.

The court heard that on November 5 last year Mr Elliott was intercepted driving with four passengers in a car displaying only one set of licence plates.

Police determined the vehicle had an expired registration.

In January this year he was caught driving more than 40km/h over the speed limit with his licence still suspended. 

On March 6 police intercepted Mr Elliott on Bullock Swamp Road, Coragulac, driving a vehicle with no licence plates.

He told police he was driving to a petrol station to fuel up the unregistered car, which he had bought to use as a “paddock bomb”. 

On April 4 Mr Elliott failed to appear in court.

Magistrate Tim Walsh told the teenager his actions were “completely and utterly” stupid.

“I was 18 once and I thought I was bulletproof, but I can rattle off 10 names of people who didn’t make it to 25 years old because of behaviour like this,” he said. 

“Luckily I’m still here but a lot of my mates aren’t.”

The magistrate said he would not take Mr Elliott’s licence away because he needed it for work, which involves driving between saleyards.

“Behaviour like this does need to be punished,” Mr Walsh said, before ordering 120 hours of community service.


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