The truck driver charged with causing the death of a Bendigo teenager has admitted to breaching his bail by riding an electric motorbike while he was banned from driving.
Mathew Gray, 42, pleaded guilty in the Bendigo Magistrates' Court on Wednesday to unlicensed driving, driving an unregistered vehicle and breaching a bail condition.
Mr Gray was granted bail in July after being charged with dangerous driving causing death in relation to the June crash that killed 18-year-old bike rider Michael Keating in Golden Square.
It was one of his conditions of bail that he not drive.
But in August, Mr Gray attended the Bendigo police station and reported his electric bicycle had been stolen.
He told police he rode it every day and it was capable of reaching speeds of 65 kmh.
But the bike's manufacturer said it could reach speeds of 80 kmh.
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The court heard the bike did not meet the VicRoads regulations for a bicycle - which specifies a maximum output of 200 watts - and was instead considered a motorcycle.
Mr Gray had also posted a photograph of the bike on Facebook with the caption: "About to go prospecting. No licence, no worries".
Mr Gray's bail was then revoked for breaching the condition that he not drive.
Defence lawyer Luke Docherty said Mr Gray held the honest belief that he was allowed to ride the bike, and that was why he was publicising it on Facebook.
He said Mr Gray was given a manual when he bought the bike that said it had a maximum output of 168 watts.
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Mr Gray was attending the Court Integrated Services Program more often than he had to and his drug screens were clean which, Mr Docherty said, was behaviour not consistentwith a person who flouted their bail conditions.
Magistrate Sarah Leighfield said she accepted that Mr Gray's actions stemmed from an honest belief, but as Mr Docherty pointed out, it was an unreasonable belief.
She took into account in Mr Gray's favour his guilty plea and the fact that had he not told police about his actions, he would not have been charged.
But Ms Leighfield noted that Mr Gray had been on bail for a very serious offence and it was important to comply with conditions.
Mr Gray was fined $1000 with conviction.
Ms Leighfield said it was a "fairly significant" fine to reflect that it was a significant breach of bail, given the context.
In January, Mr Gray will appear in court for a contested committal hearing on the charges stemming from the fatal crash.
He remains in custody.
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