‘Magnum Mum’ takes on the police after her favourite frosty-snack was mistaken for a MOBILE PHONE while driving – here’s the ingenious way she fought the $496 fine
- Michelle Course had her fine dropped after policeman made a simple mistake
- She was handed a $496 fine after highway patrol saw her eating ice cream
- The officer believed the Magnum was a mobile phone when he pulled her over
A determined mum narrowly dodged a steep fine after police mistook her icy-treat for a mobile phone while she was driving.
Beautician and Melbourne mum Michelle Course was slapped with a $496 fine for using a mobile phone while driving in November last year.
But Ms Course wasn’t using her mobile, and was instead innocently chowing down on a Magnum ice cream – and soon produced its wrapper and a receipt, showing she bought the tasty snack just six minutes before she was stopped by police.
Although the ice cream lover had her reservations about taking her fine to court she decided she needed to defend her snacking rights, and soon produced phone records to prove she never used the device.
Beautician and Melbourne mum Michelle Course (above) narrowly dodged a steep fine
Michelle handed a $496 fine for using a mobile phone while driving in November last year when she was actually eating a Magnum
Michelle said she felt she shouldn’t be expected to pay for a crime she didn’t commit and dedicated her time to building her defence.
‘There’s no way I could be eating my Magnum Ego, holding my phone and driving at the same time,’ she told A Current Affair.
She soon contacted police with their own dashcam footage showing her eating the offending snack.
Ms Course also got a copy of her phone records to show that she didn’t make a phone call or send a text at the time she was pulled over by police.
Luckily the matter didn’t need to reach the court as the fine was revoked a week from her court date.
‘Common sense has prevailed and the fine has been dropped,’ Ms Course said.
‘I was contacted a few days before the court date and I was very grateful that the system had worked and that justice had come about.
‘There’s no hard feelings. He was just trying to do his job and I have a lot of respect for the police force and what they do.’
Her lawyer, Justin Lawrence, encouraged motorists to fight unfair fines.
‘It’s on people to work as hard as they can to prove their evidence. If they’re prepared to do it and hand up all the material to a magistrate, I think the law will on their side,’ he said.
The fine has been dropped by the court after her initial evidence to the highway patrol policeman (pictured) was ignored
‘Victoria Police have got to prove the case, Michelle has collected enough evidence to say that she didn’t do it.’
The penalty for illegal use of a mobile phone while driving is a $496 fine and four demerit points.
In the 2017-18 financial year, more than 30,000 motorists were fined for using a mobile phone illegally while driving in Victoria.
In April, the Victorian government announced a new $33.7million push to crack down on drivers using their phones behind the wheel.
During a recent trial, it was estimated that one in 42 drivers illegally use their phone behind the wheel.
High-tech detection cameras are now catching more than 1,000 motorists every week at just a single site.