A BENDIGO motorbike rider who struck and seriously injured a well-known Bendigo restaurateur will not be facing time in jail.
Emerson Alan Julian, 20, appeared in the County Court on Monday where he pleaded guilty to a charge of dangerous driving causing serious injury.
The court heard on the afternoon of December 12, 2019, Julian was riding a Kawasaki motorcycle along Wood Street in Long Gully.
Read more court: Bendigo offender pleads guilty to theft, trespass charges
Orazio 'Fred' Longano, who was well-known for his Bendigo restaurant Fred's Pizza, was crossing Wood Street when Julian struck him.
The 77-year-old pedestrian was taken to a Melbourne hospital after sustaining injuries including fractures to his spine and pelvis.
The court heard Mr Longano had a number of health complications while in hospital, including acute kidney failure and respiratory issues.
Mr Longano died on January 6, 2020, as a result of a perforated bladder.
Julian told police at the scene that he had been travelling about 60km/h in the 50km/h zone and he had no time to slow down before he hit Mr Longano.
Witnesses believed Julian was travelling at about 80km/h before he crashed into the victim.
Expert evidence showed at the point of collision, Julian was likely travelling at a speed between 45km/h to 55km/h.
The prosecution tendered to the court nine victim impact statements from Mr Longano's family and friends.
While Mr Longano's partner wished to read her statement out in court, Judge Mark Dean said he could not allow her due to the strict COVID-19 protocols.
Judge Dean said he would still personally read and take into consideration all of the statements, but the court proceedings needed to be held as efficiently as possible.
Read more court: Accused child sex offender granted bail in Bendigo
Prosecutor David Cordy told the court while Julian had no prior criminal history, he was still facing charges in the Magistrates' Court.
The charges included reckless conduct endangering life, which stemmed from alleged incidents in February and March this year.
Mr Cordy said while Julian should not be sentenced on those charges, Judge Dean could consider what the alleged offending meant for Julian's prospects of rehabilitation.
Defence counsel Markorius Habib told the court the charges, which related to a series of alleged burnouts while Julian was on bail, were "pure stupidity" and done under a "misplaced desire to impress others".
Mr Habib said while those charges could be seen as a "blatant disregard for the road rules", the matters before the County Court could more accurately be described as a "bad judgement call".
The defence counsel said Julian had empathy for Mr Longano's family and friends, but he was not facing a charge of causing the 77-year-old's death.
Mr Habib submitted Julian's moral culpability was at the lower end of the scale and the 20-year-old had entered his guilty plea at an early opportunity.
The defence counsel submitted that a community corrections order was the appropriate sentence.
Mr Cordy conceded a term of adult prison would not be within range, but said Julian should still be sentenced to a period of youth justice detention.
Judge Dean said cases like this were "extremely difficult" and "tragic", and he knew any sentence could not heal the trauma for Mr Longano's loved ones.
But the judge said he needed to acknowledge that the offending was at the lower end of the scale and that Julian was a youthful offender with no prior convictions.
Judge Dean said that a term of jail or youth justice detention would not be appropriate.
The case was adjourned so Julian could be assessed for a community corrections order. The 20-year-old is due to return to the County Court on Tuesday for sentencing.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content: