A THIRD-YEAR Deakin engineering student from Saudi Arabia will be paying off his fines for the next nine years after a Magistrate ruled his English was good enough to read the infringement notices.
Salem Balobaid, 27, of Highton, applied to the Geelong Magistrates’ Court to have his $37,098 debt from 106 fines reduced.
Nathan Goetz, for Balobaid, said his client was overseas and lent his car to friends when some of the City Link and parking fines were issued but it was “regrettable” he didn’t try to sort it out earlier.
Magistrate Ron Saines said it would be an abuse of the fine reduction legislation if he cut the debt as Balobaid’s studies showed he had a good grasp of English and would have seen how to handle or challenge the fines.
Balobaid entered into a payment plan of $325 a month, and will serve 252 days in jail if he defaults.