Melbourne AFL star Clayton Oliver has been fined $600 but avoided conviction for driving a car while his licence was suspended in an incident described by a judge as “stupid”.
The Melbourne Magistrates’ Court heard Oliver’s licence was suspended on medical grounds from November 10 last year after he suffered a seizure in October.
However, six days later he was pulled over by police in the suburb of Camberwell and told officers he did not know his licence was suspended.
Oliver had received a suspension letter from VicRoads mailed in late October but had neglected to open it, the court heard.
“I wasn’t aware I was suspended,” Oliver told police at the time, according to the prosecutor.
“I was aware I wasn’t insured and that if I did crash I would be liable for everything,” he said.
“I didn’t think having one seizure for having a head knock counted for getting my licence suspended.”
Demons star didn’t read VicRoads letter
Oliver’s lawyer Sally Vardy said the 26-year-old was initially confused about the medical advice but later accepted he received the letter but did not open it.
He has not driven since and while his licence remains suspended on medical grounds, Oliver is working with his medical team and anticipates his licence will be reinstated within months, Ms Vardy said.
Oliver has been using rideshare apps, car pooling and relying on family to get around, the court heard.
Judicial registrar Barry Johnstone accepted Oliver did not open the letter informing him his licence was suspended.
“But gee that would have been sending alarm bells,” Mr Johnstone said.
“He’s in charge of a lethal weapon when he’s driving a car. If a medical practitioner told him not to drive, then there’s a reason behind that.
“People of otherwise good character do stupid things in cars and this was a stupid thing.”
Oliver, who was not present in court due to a medical appointment, was fined without a conviction.
The Melbourne Football Club has been contacted for a response.
Oliver, a four-time club champion, returned to training alongside his teammates in January after taking an extended break to manage personal issues.
The midfielder dealt with injuries and scrutiny of his off-field behaviour during a turbulent 2023 season.
Source: AFL NEWS ABC