'Maniac' driver seeks jail release

A DIESEL mechanic with 40 convictions for driving while disqualified has been described as having an ''unnatural love of cars''.

A Melbourne judge said Michael Sullivan, whose list of convictions takes up 42 pages, had been ''driving like a maniac''.

Sullivan's barrister, Carolene Gwynn, told Judge Duncan Allen on Tuesday: ''He's primarily a bad driver, that's what he does.''

Sullivan's first conviction was recorded in 1997 and today they total more than 100.

''He has what I would describe as an unnatural love of cars,'' Ms Gwynn said of Sullivan who appeared in custody to appeal against a jail sentence imposed in August.

He was jailed for 20 months with a minimum of 10 months on 11 charges that included reckless conduct endangering life, dangerous driving and speeding. His licence was suspended for five years.

Prosecutor Peter Triandos on Tuesday detailed two incidents last year when Sullivan was intercepted by police while driving unlicensed in Cranbourne South and Pakenham. Both times Sullivan sped away, resulting in high-speed pursuits.

Ms Gwynn said Sullivan had struggled with the death of his father and arranging his estate, caring for his unwell mother and other issues. She said he had no drug or alcohol problems and now had a young child and a wife who told Judge Allen her husband's latest sentence was a ''big wake-up call''.

Judge Allen adjourned his decision for Sullivan to be assessed for a possible two-year community correction order he foreshadowed would be ''one with the lot'', including unpaid community work, supervision, mental health assessment and treatment and monitoring.

But before such an outcome, to be decided next week, Ms Gwynn revealed that first Sullivan had to be released from custody as bail granted pending the appeal was revoked because he was charged with unlicensed driving.

The story 'Maniac' driver seeks jail release first appeared on The Age.

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