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.
The committal hearing into the 1983 murder of Shepparton teenager Michelle Buckingham is expected to finish today.
The Yarrawonga Chronicle and Travel and Cruise Yarrawonga are offering shoppers a chance to win an incredible cruise package this summer.
Last week Victorian Collections passed a major milestone, with the 50000th historical object record from the state’s heritage collections uploaded to the site.
Echuca-Moama Search and Rescue members Steve Huntley, Kirsty Read, Ray Rowe and Peter Reid have been recognised for their role following an industrial accident earlier this year.
Rochester Secondary College student Georgia Mundie will perform at an Equitana exhibition in Melbourne.
Fourteen parties and 37 candidates will contest the Northern Victoria Region for the Victorian upper house at the November 29 election, with the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) claiming the top billing on the ballot paper.
Playgroup of the Month for November.
Andrew Richardson and Matt Jackson have been appointed co-coaches of Finley's senior football side.
Coliban Water has confirmed sewer connections in Heathcote would not happen until the completion of a feasibility study.
Runners from the Sri Chinmoy Peace Oneness-Home Peace Run visit local students to share message of goodwill.
Deniliquin’s Luke Harrington is hoping to start a horse riding club for people with a disability.
South African course builder Brian Lavery, now based in Melbourne, set a testing track for the Hunter Group World Cup Showjumping Qualifier on Saturday that brought some of the sport’s big names undone.
Scott Upston had a decorated career as a paralympic coach before moving to Benalla this year.
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.