Long Gully man’s jail sentence doubled at appeal

A LONG GULLY man who led police on numerous high-speed pursuits around Bendigo had his jail sentenced doubled at an appeal at Bendigo County Court on Thursday.

Dwane Harding, 27, was sentenced last week at Bendigo Magistrates Court to six months in prison, with an additional six-month sentence wholly suspended for two years.

Judge Richard Maidment yesterday extended the sentence to 12 months imprisonment, and said the “overall sentence was inadequate”.

Harding drove away from police at 150km/h through a 60km/h zone on Retreat Road, Spring Gully, on March 7.

In another abandoned pursuit, Harding was observed driving at 170km/h through an 80km/h zone in Big Hill at 1am on March 24.

He told police he had sped off because he knew police would abandon the pursuit if he drove fast enough.

In the appeal, defence lawyer Alex McLennan said Harding’s offending had occurred when he was struggling to deal with the break-up of a relationship with the mother of his two children.

Mr McLennan said since then, Harding had referred himself to a number of support services and had reconciled with his former partner.

“He has been proactive about addressing his issues and making an effort to rehabilitate himself,” Mr McLennan said.

Mr McLennan urged the court to shorten Harding’s prison sentence.

Judge Richard Maidment said he could not reduce the jail term.

“He drove in a way which put other people and other people’s children at risk,” he said. “The court has an obligation to say, ‘If you do this you will go to jail’.”


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