A MAN convicted of driving while using a mobile phone claimed he did not own a phone at all as part of his defence.
However, halfway during his hearing at Bega Local Court a phone began to ring in his pocket – much to the surprise of the courtroom.
On July 29, 23-year-old Matt Thomas Macadam of Queanbeyan East was found guilty of driving while using a phone and fined $1000.
About 4.45pm on March 11 he was driving a blue Ford Falcon along Carp St, Bega, accompanied by his girlfriend in the front passenger seat as well as two males and a child in the back.
When Constable Glenn Raymond of Bega Police stopped his car at the Auckland/Carp St traffic lights he said he looked into Macadam’s car and saw the driver of the vehicle using a phone with his left hand, either sending a text or changing music on the device.
Macadam was stopped and served a court notice, but pleaded not guilty and represented himself at the Bega Courthouse.
While he claimed the phone belonged to his girlfriend, in his sentencing Magistrate Daryl Pearce said it did not matter who owned the phone, just if the driver was using it when at the wheel.
The magistrate said at one stage he was of the view the phone was being used by Macadam’s girlfriend and the police officer had mixed up their hands.
However, he said that was not the defence of the accused, who claimed his girlfriend had the phone between her legs.
“I find that rather unusual, to have your phone between your legs when you want to change the music,” Magistrate Pearce said.
He said driving while using a phone was a “prevalent offence”.