A BABY delivered 10 weeks early required emergency surgery after a crash caused by her father who was reaching for a cigarette, a court has heard.
Martin Willsman, 25, pleaded guilty in Bendigo Magistrates Court on Wednesday on one count each of reckless conduct endangering serious injury and driving a vehicle that did not comply with standards following an incident on October 13 last year.
Willsman, an unemployed former bakery apprentice from Golden Square, was driving at 100km/h in a 60km/h zone along Weeroona Avenue in White Hills when he lost control of the car carrying his pregnant ex-partner.
The man was reaching for a cigarette at the time he lost control of the car.
The car travelled 72.8 metres before mounting a nature strip and colliding with a bus stop sign and hitting a tree, the court heard.
The woman, with whom Willsman separated from a month earlier, was 30 weeks pregnant with his child at the time.
She suffered a fractured sternum and went into forced labour before being taken to a Melbourne hospital, where the infant underwent surgery for a hole in its bowel.
The baby and the mother have since made a full recovery.
Willsman suffered a broken nose and sternum.
Willsman's defence lawyer Luke Docherty said the P-plater and his ex-partner had ended their relationship about a month prior to the incident, and were arguing at the time of the crash.
He said Willsman was frustrated and that had contributed to why he was driving in such a manner.
However, Magistrate David Faram said Willsman's prior convictions, including careless driving, suggested this type of offending was bound to happen.
"They suggest he doesn't have a regard for the law, his licence, or other road users," Magistrate Faram said.
The matter was adjourned until September for the defence to obtain pre-sentencing reports.