A passenger has been issued a good behaviour bond and will have to donate to the Court fund after pleading guilty to a charge relating to his behaviour during a taxi ride in 2020.
Justin Benson, 32, appeared in the Horsham Magistrate's Court via video link, where he pleaded guilty to the charge of interfering with a driver of a vehicle.
The court heard that Benson had been at a gathering with friends in Dooen on the evening of Monday, June 28.
Benson was intoxicated, having consumed a large quantity of beer, and got into a verbal altercation with a person at the gathering.
He decided to leave the gathering and called a taxi to come and collect him from the property between 12-12:30am.
The taxi driver was heading back into Horsham along Dooen Road when Benson grabbed the car's steering wheel from the passenger's seat while the vehicle was travelling at the 60 km/h speed limit.
The court heard Benson's actions caused the vehicle to go to the left, mounting the kerb and heading towards a tree.
The taxi driver regained control of the car and stopped the vehicle, with Benson leaving the scene and not paying for the trip, which had totalled around $20.
Horsham police members investigated the incident, with police prosecution describing Benson as "very cooperative and remorseful" during their investigations before he was charged.
Benson's defence lawyer Nick Graham said his client recognised he was not using alcohol wisely at the time and has changed his behaviour accordingly.
"My client said he is very disappointed in his actions and he said he let his family and friends down," Mr Graham told the court.
"He said taxi driver did not deserve to be treated like this and he is truly sorry."
Benson is employed with a farming company near Nhill, and with harvest season approaching, Mr Graham asked Magistrate Tim Walsh not to interfere with his client's licence, or he would lose his job.
Magistrate Walsh said he believed the incident did not align with Benson's character and said he was pleased the offender had recognised an issue with his behaviour.
"I am not going to intervene with your licence," he said.
"I am issuing you a good behaviour bond for six months, provided no other offences occur.
"This means the charges can be proven and dismissed, but if there is another offence you can be resentenced for these matters."
Mr Walsh ordered Bendson to pay $500 to the Court fund as part of his sentencing.
Benson has also paid for the taxi ride.
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