By Meg Kennedy
Former Ballan resident Melissa Imberger will spend the next two months behind bars, following a string of charges; including driving whilst disqualified, damaging property and threatening protected persons.
A barefooted Imberger appeared before Magistrate Letizia Torres at the Ballarat Magistrates Court on Wednesday, 24 January for sentencing, following a lengthy appearance at Bacchus Marsh Court the week prior.
The accused was arrested at the court on the morning of Friday, 18 January, hours before her scheduled appearance before Magistrate Torres later that day.
Police Prosecutor Senior Constable Gary Steel listed up to 18-charges, including various incidences of driving whilst disqualified.
Notable charges included an incident on the corner of Inglis St and Cowie St in Ballan, where the accused was illegally driving an unregistered vehicle and drove on the footpath; causing bystanders to jump out of the way, and verbally threatening people known to her.
Another incident occurred in March 2018, when the accused was driving whilst disqualified Westbound on the Western Freeway.
The accused ran onto grass, travelling 150 metres before colliding with a barrier.
She was later recognised by Ballan police officer Leading Sen Const. Nick Wallace who attended the scene.
The accused’s alleged excuses for driving whilst disqualified included “I knew my licence was disqualified. I made a poor decision with my car,” and “I keep making stupid decisions,” which were read aloud to the court by Snr Constable Steel.
Another incident was read to the court, in which the accused attended the home of a person she had in intervention order against and was hiding under a blanket from police.
Magistrate Letizia Torres said on Friday, 18 January that the accused’s careless driving was “extremely serious,” and “for many months…[Imberger] hasn’t been able to control her behaviour.”
As she was escorted from the Bacchus Marsh courtroom, the accused motioned a rude single finger gesture to Leading Sen. Const. Wallace.
Last Wednesday in the Ballarat Court, Imberger was sentenced to two months and 11-days in prison, including five days already spent in custody. Her driver’s licence was cancelled for six months.