A man has been sentenced to two months' imprisonment for driving on a Bendigo footpath, forcing people to move out of the way to avoid being hit, but has been granted bail while he appeals the decision.
Dylan Jez pleaded guilty in the Bendigo Magistrates' Court on Tuesday to reckless conduct endangering serious injury, driving while suspended, assaulting an emergency worker, refusing a breath test and disorderly conduct in the police cells.
On the night of February 2 this year, triple-0 received numerous calls regarding a vehicle in Smith Street in North Bendigo.
Jez was seen driving at a fast speed, doing burnouts, and crashing into a fence.
He also drove onto the footpath, forcing people to get out of the way.
Prosecutor Karl Mannes said at least three people had to take "evasive action" and the witnesses suggested he had deliberately driven onto the footpath.
Jez then drove away into Nolan Street and was shortly afterwards seen driving on the wrong side of the road in Chum Street.
At the time, Jez's licence was suspended on demerit points.
Police found Jez and the vehicle outside a fast food restaurant opposite the Bendigo police station.
When they approached Jez, he was aggressive and abusive, and after being placed in the divisional van he spat at an officer through the window.
At the station, Jez was asked to undergo a preliminary breath test, but refused.
His behaviour in the cell was described as erratic and unpredictable, and at one point he smeared faeces on the CCTV camera, making it impossible for him to be monitored via the camera.
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Defence counsel Tom Battersby said his client's actions constituted extremely serious offending, but he was experiencing a mental health crisis at the time.
The court heard Jez witnessed a murder, which led to post-traumatic stress disorder, and this was heightened following a serious car crash last year.
He said Jez had been a Crown witness in a murder prosecution, which put him at risk in jail.
Mr Battersby said his client had a deprived upbringing, but was in a stable, positive relationship and had come "an enormously long way".
A jail sentence, he said, would set him back.
But magistrate John Bentley said Jez "has to go to jail".
"You put people's lives at risk, there's no doubt about it," he said.
Mr Bentley sentenced him to two months in jail followed by a 15-month community corrections order, during which he must undergo treatment for drug and alcohol abuse, as well as offender behaviour programs.
But Jez is appealing the sentence and has been granted bail while awaiting the appeal.
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