THE Bendigo Magistrates’ Court has refused a woman bail following a series of driving offences in Elmore, including an alleged attempt to ram a police vehicle.
“I never endangered anyone,” Samantha Duchatel told the court, pleading Magistrate Patrick Southey not to deprive her of the opportunity to see her children.
Police prosecutor Senior Constable Mick Arnott alleged the 31-year-old woman was behind the wheel of a blue Mitsubishi Lancer detected driving erratically the Northern Highway, towards Elmore, on November 1.
The court heard the car was detected at excessive speeds, which only increased when police activated their lights and sirens and attempted to follow.
Duchatel was charged with narrowly avoiding hitting a female pedestrian at a pedestrian crossing near the post office at Elmore.
Police alleged the vehicle had run a red light and was travelling at about 100km/h.
Senior Constable Arnott said traffic was heavy at the time.
Duchatel was alleged to have continued speeding through the township, attempting to ram a police vehicle at one point to evade police.
She was arrested two days later, on the morning of November 3, at a Rochester address.
Her car was also impounded.
In addition to the driving offences, police alleged Duchatel made off with about $30 worth of petrol from a service station in Rochester on the afternoon of November 1.
Senior Constable Arnott told the court Duchatel went into the service station and picked up earphones, a phone charger, and a can of the energy drink Mother. She allegedly put the items down her pants and left without paying, bringing the total value of the theft to $64.
Charges included reckless conduct endangering life, drive in a manner dangerous, drive at a speed dangerous, and two counts of driving having knowingly been given a direction to stop by a police officer.
Duchatel appeared in the Bendigo Magistrates’ Court on Monday via video link.
“I never even came close to hitting another person,” she told the court.
“The lights were yellow, not red…that was a lie.”
She said she had been trying to manoeuvre around place, not to ram the vehicle.
Duchatel also claimed she had been intending to pay for the fuel.
“I panicked. I didn’t know what to do,” she said.
“I swear on my oath.”
Mr Southey deemed the offences Duchatel was accused of a serious threat to other road users.
“Do you realise it’s not all about you?” he said as she defended her actions.
“You’re an unacceptable risk of reoffending.”
Duchatel was remanded to appear in the Echuca Magistrates’ Court on November 20 via video link.
Have you signed up to the Bendigo Advertiser's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in central Victoria.