A BENDIGO magistrate has jailed a man who repeatedly drove without a licence, saying his criminal record was "absolutely appalling".
Magistrate Sharon McRae on Wednesday sentenced 35-year-old Christopher Mackenzie to prison after he pleaded guilty in the Bendigo Magistrates' Court.
The charges stemmed from a series of driving incidents on April 2, 2018, and August 27, 2019.
Mackenzie, who had never held a licence, admitted to getting behind the wheel on those two occasions.
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During the 2019 incident, the 35-year-old also underwent an oral fluid test which showed he had cannabis in his system.
On Saturday afternoon, the 35-year-old again drove to his friends' Bendigo property. They offered him a place to stay for the night because he was homeless.
In the early hours of Sunday morning, one of the associates caught Mackenzie trying to conceal their laptop in his bag.
After questioning him, the friend called the police who came and arrested Mackenzie. They found a supermarket rewards card under the victim's name in his possession.
Officers also searched the 35-year-old's car and found three grams of cannabis and eight capsules of magic mushrooms.
Defence lawyer Nicholas Rolfe told the court Mackenzie had been drug affected when he was arrested.
Mr Rolfe said his client believed people were after him, which was why he drove to Bendigo to stay with his friends.
The defence lawyer said Mackenzie could not remember the offending, but he did concede he stole the laptop and identification cards.
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Mr Rolfe said Mackenzie had a troubled background and his life derailed when he separated from his partner last year.
The defence lawyer submitted that a community corrections order was within range for the offending because Mackenzie needed support.
But Magistrate Sharon McRae questioned why Mackenzie should be afforded another chance at rehabilitation after he breached numerous corrections orders.
Ms McRae noted it was the 12th time that Mackenzie had been charged with driving while unlicensed.
"You have a fair disregard for the law when it comes to driving," she said. "If you continue to flout the law, then there comes a time when you need to go to jail.
"You haven't changed. It's the same charges over and over again."
Ms McRae said Mackenzie would be able to seek support and rehabilitation on his own accord after he completed a prison sentence.
The magistrate convicted and sentenced Mackenzie to two months in jail with three days of pre-sentence detention reckoned as already served.
He was also fined $1000 and he was disqualified from driving for 12 months.
If Mackenzie did not plead guilty, he would have been jailed for four months.
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