Colosimo ordered to do community service

A magistrate has agreed that Vince Colosimo is vulnerable due to his mental illnesses.

A magistrate has agreed that Vince Colosimo is vulnerable due to his mental illnesses. Photo: AAP

Actor Vince Colosimo’s fall from grace has played out in court as a magistrate ordered him to perform community work since he cannot afford to pay back more than $61,000 in fines.

The Underbelly star, 56, appeared in Melbourne Magistrates Court on Thursday by video link from his Legal Aid lawyer’s offices over a sheriff’s warrant, after he failed to pay back almost a decade’s worth of driving and voting fines.

Colosimo, who has acted in almost 70 productions on the big and small screen, had been untreated for his ADHD for years which led to him self-medicating with illicit drugs, including methamphetamines, the court was told.

He has been diagnosed with a major depressive disorder, dependence on methamphetamines, generalised anxiety disorder and PTSD.

These issues culminated in Colosimo disregarding his civil obligations, by failing to pay off parking, speeding, traffic, toll and voting fines between 2013 and 2022, which now total $61,858.60, Magistrate Guillaume Bailin said.

Colosimo’s lawyer Julia Munster asked the magistrate to dismiss all of the fines as she said her client was vulnerable due to his multiple mental illnesses, and could not afford to pay the amount now owed to Victoria’s sheriff’s office.

“He suffers from profound mental illnesses, special circumstances do apply to him,” she told the court.

She said Colosimo’s financial situation was difficult, with no major financial assets to his name and a “precarious” housing and working situation where he has few employment prospects beyond labouring jobs. 

“He’s living a meagre lifestyle with very limited financial capacity to really meet his current obligations, let alone anything else,” she said.

Colosimo recently paid $6025 in court fees, but he had to borrow that money, she said. 

Ms Munster said the infringements, which include fines for failing to vote in council elections, unpaid tolls and speeding tickets, were initially less than $30,000 but that amount had more than doubled due to additional fees imposed by the sheriff.

Colosimo was facing possible jail time, but Mr Bailin took that off the table on Thursday. 

He instead found Colosimo was vulnerable due to his mental illnesses and dismissed $58,000 he owed to the sheriff.

“These illnesses all operated collectively to contribute to the infringement conduct and inattention to civic duties,” Mr Bailin said.

He noted the actor had been forced to “put himself before the court in the community to ask for mercy”. 

The magistrate ordered Colosimo to perform 101 hours of community work over 12 months, to work off the outstanding $3858.60.

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