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Repeat offender given one more chance

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By Caitlin Bewley
(2nd Yr Swinburne Uni)

Continuous unlicensed driving charges is why a man appeared before Magistrate Gregory Robinson in the Bacchus Marsh Magistrate’s court on Friday 21 June.
Russell Simmonds was allegedly driving unlicensed on 21 July 2018 when intercepted by police on Grey street in Darley, according to prosecutor Senior Constable Lisa Schoemaker.
Less than two weeks later on August 1, Simmonds was intercepted by police on the Eastern Freeway, having travelled 800 metres in a transit lane, again unlicensed.
When intercepted, police asked Simmonds for identification, the accused replying that he didn’t have his licence with him.
The prosecution told the court the accused allegedly gave police a false name and date of birth, Simmonds was soon arrested and taken to Richmond police station.
Schoemaker said when Simmonds was interviewed by police, he said he “does have a licence, I got it back two weeks ago, look it up.”
Simmonds was intercepted after midnight the next morning by police near the Bacchus Marsh College, unlicensed.
The unlicensed reoffending continued on August 21 and September 12, with police again intercepting the accused.
“I didn’t know I had to resit [driving test] after five years incarcerated,” Simmonds told Magistrate Robinson. “There’s more to life out here than there is in jail,” he said.
“This is pretty small compared to what you went to jail for,” Magistrate Gregory Robinson said.
“I’m prepared to give you another chance, but it’ll be hard to help you out if you do it again,” Magistrate Robinson told Simmonds before issuing him with a community corrections order.