$6K fine for stolen plates, running from police
LOSING his job was almost inevitable, after Shane Andrew Ling was charged with not only stealing plates from a work vehicle, but using those stolen plates to drive while disqualified, and eventually evading police.
Ling faced Roma Magistrates Court by phone this week, charged with one count each of evasion, possess utensil, possess false plates, disqualified driving, and stealing plates.
Police prosecutor sergeant Heather Whiting told the court that on February 24, about 11.45pm, police were conducting patrols in Roma when the tried to pull over Ling's ute. He failed to pull over and as police continued to pursue him, he eventually became bogged.
He then ran from the vehicle and police. Inside his car, police found a pipe and scales, and behind the bulbar found registration plates. A check of those plates showed the car to be unregistered and uninsured, and Ling to be disqualified from driving.
False plates, which Ling had lifted from a work vehicle, were attached to the vehicle.
The next day, he obliged to a police interview, in which he admitted he knew what he was doing was wrong. He told police he had taken the plate from the work vehicle. He had driven off after he and his partner had had a fight.
Ling admitted to police the pipe they had found in his car had been used to smoke ice, a habit he was trying to get out of.
Ling's lawyer told the court the 23-year-old had been fired after the incident.
"He took the plates so as not to be detected as to be driving disqualified," she said.
"He wanted to see his partner - who is pregnant, and when she asked if he was still using the drug he panicked and bolted.
"He knows what he did was stupid, that there was no excuse and he assures me is no longer taking drugs."
A charge of evasion is punishable only by a hefty fine or time spent in jail, Magistrate Saggers told Ling.
"Evading police is a serious crime. It's either a $6672.50 fine or 55 days in jail," he said.
Saggers convicted and fined Ling for evasion and disqualified his license for two years. For false plates, a conviction was recorded. For driving disqualified, a further two years suspension was imposed on Ling and for stealing he was fined a further $350.