A KANGAROO Flat man who allegedly evaded police in a stolen car while on bail has been released to complete a rehabilitation program.
Dean John West, 28, appeared in the Bendigo Magistrates' Court on Monday. He has been charged with theft, handling stolen goods, disqualified driving, driving an unregistered vehicle, and contravening bail.
The court heard Mr West was captured on CCTV footage allegedly driving a stolen Holden Commodore in April this year.
Police also alleged Mr West ran from the vehicle when officers recovered the car from an East Bendigo address on April 11.
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The court heard then on April 19 this year, Mr West was allegedly seen driving a white sedan bearing stolen number plates in East Bendigo.
Police attempted to stop Mr West as he drove down Murphy Street but he failed to pull over.
The court heard Mr West allegedly accelerated away at 90km/h, crossed over to the wrong side of the road, and drove through a roundabout. He was disqualified from driving at the time of the alleged offending.
Mr West was arrested in relation to the two incidents on May 6 this year and was bailed to appear at court.
He was arrested again on May 21 for driving an unregistered car bearing stolen number plates.
Mr West appeared in the Bendigo Magistrates' Court on June 19 where he was bailed on the Court Integrated Services Program.
The court heard then about 2.04am on July 12 this year, police saw a blue Holden Commodore stopped at a service station on High Street in Golden Square.
A man was filling the car with petrol while a passenger was at the service window.
Police entered the service station to check on the car but both the driver and passenger rushed back to the vehicle and drove way.
Police activated their flashing lights and signalled for the car to pull over. The driver failed to stop and accelerated away at 130km/h.
The court heard police discontinued the chase when it was clear the driver would not stop.
Police alleged CCTV footage from the service station showed Mr West was the driver of the vehicle.
Mr West was on bail at the time. Later checks also determined the Holden Commodore was unregistered.
The court heard then about 4.25pm on July 13, Mr West was captured on CCTV at a Kangaroo Flat service station driving the same Holden Commodore.
The court heard on July 15 this year, the owner of the Holden Commodore reported the car as stolen.
The car was recovered on July 18 this year. It was alleged that Mr West's fingerprints were found on the vehicle.
The court heard then about 9.22am on July 22 this year, Mr West was captured on CCTV driving a silver-coloured Holden Commodore sedan into a car wash in Kennington.
Police alleged while out of the car, Mr West was behaving erratically and looked to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
The vehicle's number plates were also from a car that had been stolen in June.
Police prosecutor Richard Epskamp said Mr West was a significant danger to the community as a result of his driving behaviour and substantial criminal history.
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Defence lawyer Robert Southgate told the court Mr West's alleged offending had stemmed from his addiction to drugs and childhood trauma.
The court heard Mr West had been using the drug ice on a daily basis for the past 11 years.
Mr Southgate said Mr West had been accepted into The Cottage in Shepparton - a drug and alcohol recovery facility.
The defence lawyer said a four-month stay at the rehabilitation facility would help Mr West deal with his issues so he wouldn't re-offend.
Mr Southgate also noted that Mr West was hospitalised in July this year after he was stabbed multiple times in the head and throat.
Mr West told Magistrate Julie Grainger he had been in an induced coma for three days. He said the incident made him realise he needed to change his life.
Ms Grainger told the court Mr West's prior criminal history was "very long, very serious, and very relevant".
But she said given Mr West's offending was linked to drug addiction, she was satisfied The Cottage program would be an appropriate next step.
"The best way to protect the community is to have Mr West comply with the program," she said.
Mr West was released on bail to complete the four-month rehabilitation program.
He is due to return to the Bendigo Magistrates' Court in January next year.
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