A magistrate did not hold back when sentencing a woman with $13,000 of SPER debt.
A magistrate did not hold back when sentencing a woman with $13,000 of SPER debt.

‘Unadulterated rubbish’: Dodgy debt claims slammed in court

A WOMAN with almost $13,000 in SPER debt was accused in court of lying about her efforts to pay it off.

Sarah Capstick, 42, appeared in Maryborough Magistrates Court on Monday morning, pleading guilty to unlicensed driving.

Officers stopped her in Granville on March 19 and found her licence was suspended the day before.

The court heard she lost her licence because she had not paid her SPER debt.

Capstick’s lawyer Morgan Harris said she called SPER the next day to clear things up, made an initial payment and set up a payment plan.

However, when magistrate Terry Duroux pulled up Capstick’s SPER report, he found she had not made a single payment since July 10, 2019.

The report also showed she had no payment plans set up.

“I don’t accept a word your client has said today,” Mr Duroux said to Mr Harris.

“She says she’s paid, show me the receipts.”

Capstick spoke up, saying she did not have receipts but had called SPER again that morning.

She said she had tried to set up a payment plan but it had not happened because of the coronavirus crisis.

“Any more unadulterated rubbish to come from your client?” Mr Duroux asked Mr Harris.

“She currently owes $12,802.15. When is she going to start paying her fines, I wonder?”

Mr Harris said Ms Capstick’s “lapse in memory” could be explained by a dependence on alcohol and said she would be willing to undertake community service.

Mr Duroux did not hold back when sentencing Capstick.

“I don’t accept the nonsense you’ve told me today. In my view you’ve been trying to mislead me,” he said.

“Today you’re going to lose your licence. Until you fix up your SPER debt you can never drive a motor vehicle.

“Either get your SPER sorted out or never drive. Those are your choices.”

He fined Capstick $500, referred to SPER.

“That’s the place where you’re not paying your fines now,” Mr Duroux said.

Her licence was suspended for one month and the conviction was recorded.