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  • Woman who clocked up $342,000 in unpaid fines avoids jail, has debt slashed to $16,000
  • By Melissa Townsend
  • 03/10/2014 Make a Comment
  • Contributed by: Adele ( 1 article in 2014 )
A SERIAL fare evader who accrued more than $342,000 in unpaid road fines — one of the largest in the state’s history — has escaped jail and had most debts scrapped.

Single mum Isabelle Weir, 27, of southeast Melbourne, appeared at the Dandenong Magistrates’ Court yesterday in relation to 1196 infringement warrants and 148 other charges accrued over five years.

Weir could have faced six-and-a-half years’ jail, but Magistrate Pauline Spencer discharged the bulk of the fines and ordered her to pay just $16,000, at $50 a month over the next 26 years.

“You’re not going to be going to jail for the infringements today,” Ms Spencer said.

Ms Spencer suppressed the publication of Weir’s suburb citing concerns about repercussion for Weir given the high profile nature of the case. She said a jail term would have a ‘catastrophic impact’ on Weir’s autistic child and it would be a significant cost to the community in terms of the imprisonment.

The court heard between July 2008 and December 2013, Weir accrued $342,050 in fines, predominantly for unpaid tolls on EastLink and CityLink. The amount also included $13,833.70 in fines and administration fees.

Weir, an unemployed single mother of four, was supported in court by her mother and three cousins.

Her defence solicitor, Adam Maloney, told the court Weir suffered from borderline personality disorder, had a history of alcohol abuse and had to care for her eldest son, who had autism and speech and behavioural issues.

Mr Maloney said Weir received a carer’s allowance from Centrelink and a family tax benefit which amounted to $1240 a fortnight, and she had not been able to work for four years because of her son’s condition. He argued a six-and-a-half year jail term would be “disproportionate” and “unduly harsh” given Weir’s “special circumstances”.

Ms Spencer agreed, and said some people could not pay tolls for a range of reasons, including mental health, drug and alcohol addiction and financial disadvantage.

“Given there are so many of them and they’ve escalated to such a degree, you are not in a position to pay the amounts here,” Ms Spencer said.

Source: https://www.heraldsun.com.au/leader/south-east/woman-who-clocked-up-342000-in-unpaid-fines-avoids-jail-has-debt-slashed-to-16000/story-fngnvmhm-1227078596288


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