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Our client was charged with taking his ex-partner’s car without her consent. His matter was referred to us on a grant from Legal Aid. He had previously served sentences of imprisonment for traffic offences. Despite instructing us to plead not guilty, our client was in Melbourne at the time of the hearing, and he had applied to vacate the hearing date on two previous occasions. The magistrate refused to grant an adjournment, and convicted our client in his absence. Despite this, he only received a small fine for the offence, thereby avoiding jail time.