A magistrate has told a Shepparton man he was lucky he did not kill his passengers after driving into the Goulburn River while drink driving.FIONA BROOM November 20, 2012 4:20am
A Shepparton man told police ‘‘I just f**ked up’’ after he drove a car with two passengers into the Goulburn River while more than twice the legal alcohol limit.
Magistrate John Murphy told Nicholas Ponting, 27, he was lucky he was not faced with having caused the deaths of his passengers after Mr Ponting pleaded guilty to charges including drink-driving and driving without a licence.
Shepparton Magistrates’ Court yesterday heard on April 28 Mr Ponting and two women parked on Tom Collins Dve, behind Victoria Park Lake, about 11
He decided to leave 10 minutes later.
But when he put the car into gear and attempted to drive away, he launched backwards into the river, the court heard.
Mr Ponting and his passengers managed to swim to safety, but the blue Holden Commodore sank.
A short while later police received calls Mr Ponting was yelling and kicking fences along nearby Hayes St.
When police approached the three people, they noticed they were soaking wet, while Mr Ponting appeared unsteady on his feet and smelt of alcohol, the court heard.
Mr Ponting, a father of two, repeatedly told police he’d ‘‘done wrong’’.
The court heard he told police he had never had a driver’s licence and he had been drinking, returning a blood alcohol reading of 0.122.
‘‘He’s just lucky he could swim and his passengers could swim or he’d be up for culpable driving,’’ Mr Murphy said.
Solicitor Luke Slater said his client had been at a friend’s place earlier in the evening with several other people who were drinking.
Mr Ponting had borrowed his friend’s car, which was unregistered with number plates not registered to the car, so he could go out and buy more alcohol for everyone, Mr Slater said.
He said Mr Ponting was not taking depression medication at the time and he tended to drink more when he was not taking medication.
He said his client was immediately remorseful of his actions and took police to the river to explain what happened.
Mr Ponting was convicted and fined $1500 and disqualified from driving for 13 months.
A multimillion-dollar redevelopment of one of Shepparton’s central business districts has resulted in an influx of new customers and increased trade.
More than 2200 people have signed up to show their support for a campaign to have the green route chosen for the new Yarrawonga Mulwala bridge.
Members of Murchison Book Club are hosting a literary lunch with Vivien Achia, author of Marrying Italian — When Love is Not Enough.
Echuca faces a big test against Tatura at Victoria Park today.
Painter Ben Winspear and Scott Wileman will create new works as the public look on during the at Rochester Art Exhibition.
Kyabram Bombers have the chance to beat Rochester under light for the first time this Friday evening.
Lions star recruit had a tough introduction to the GVFL.
Tocumwal's Don Elgin is aiming to compete at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Scotland
Eighty residents at a forum determined the Heathcote Community Plan was on track but need some fine tuning.
Cobram skate park hosts skateboarding and music for youth week.
Senior state minister Adrian Piccoli reaquainted himself with Deniliquin yesterday, leaving Deniliquin Counil hopeful it has an ally in him.
With his blue eyes and snow-coloured coat, Nanneella horse Sinatra has looks worthy of a fairytale.
Fourteen-year-old Benalla girl Jaimee Linke will launch her debut novel next month.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.