Our client ran a small business with 3 vehicles registered to his name. The business operated for a period of 10 years and the first 6 years were profitable and served our client quite well. For the last 3 years, the business moved location to a suburb which required use of toll roads. The drivers of the vans (employees) were asked not to use the toll roads but ultimately used them regardless.
The business suffered financial strain and our client had to prioritise having enough supplies to keep the business going, by way of over ordering, rather than paying expenses as they came in to be able to manage them. Ultimately over the period, a total of 276 infringements were incurred. By the time the infringements had gone through Civic Compliance and then the Sheriff’s office, he owed a total of $93,000.
At the same time as the business struggle, he also had personal difficulties at home with a partner suffering from depression as a result of not being able to conceive a child. This caused additional stress on our client and was another matter that took priority over sorting out the infringements.
At no stage did our client realise that these infringements would ever see him appearing before a Magistrates’ Court facing the prospect of imprisonment.
Dee Giannopoulos represented the client at the Heidelberg Magistrates’ Court.
Our client’s case was put to the court and the court was advised that our client was now facing bankruptcy as a result of the business failure. He had struggled with financial turmoil for 3 years whilst also having a very difficult home life as a result of his partner’s mental health concerns.
The Magistrate accepted the submissions put to her and was sympathetic to our clients ongoing stress. Her Honour ultimately agreed to discharge all the fines in full. This is an amazing result. Our client attended court owing $93,000 which is an equivalent to 599 days in prison time. The Court listened to the submissions put on his behalf by his solicitor and agreed that he should not have to have this burden on him for many years to come on top of the other stressors he was having to deal with in his life. He walked away from the Court without having any debt to repay and now able to move on with life as best as he possibly can.