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Undiagnosed mental health issue causes burnout

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By Caitlin Bewley
(2nd Yr Swinburne Uni)

“Get out of bed, find a job and pull your weight,” were the words Magistrate Gregory Robinson said to a Ballan man attending court on Friday 6 September, because of his driving behaviour.

The accused, Arnold Beck, was allegedly performing burnouts in the early hours of March 27 along Atkinson/Cowie street in Ballan.

Prosecutor Sergeant Michael Patterson told the court witnesses reported to police the accused had “smoke and sparks coming from the back of his vehicle [during the burnouts]”.

It was alleged by the prosecution that police attended Beck’s house at 6:20am on March 27 where they found the car used to perform the burnouts in the accused’s garage.

Sergeant Patterson to the court that the “tyres were warm to touch” and a tyre was missing from the car, according to police who attended the scene.

Beck was subsequently taken to the Bacchus Marsh police station to undergo a breath test, which he refused.

The prosecution said that upon Beck’s refusal, police explained the consequences of refusing a breath test to him, to which the accused refused again.

When interviewed by police, it was alleged by the prosecution that Beck said he was an “absolute f***** d*******” and that he “didn’t have a reason” for performing the burnouts.

Beck’s lawyer told the court that her client suffers mental health issues which have gone undiagnosed and urged the court to consider a financial disposition.

“Don’t come in here and tell me you’re depressed and that’s why you were doing burnouts at 4:40 in the morning while drunk,” Magistrate Robinson said.

“You need to grow up. Get out of bed, find a job and pull your weight,” he said.

Beck was convicted and fined a sum of $2000 with statutory costs of $127.40. His licences were cancelled, and he is disqualified from driving for a period of two years.