A DANGEROUS driver has been jailed for five months after he nearly crashed into unsuspecting pedestrians while evading police in Kangaroo Flat.
William Eric Armour, 32, was sentenced in the Bendigo Magistrates' Court on Wednesday after he last week pleaded guilty to charges including handling stolen goods and dangerous driving while pursued by police.
Magistrate Russell Kelly said the offending was serious but Armour had been on the "revolving door" of jail for the past few years.
Mr Kelly said a shorter prison term and community corrections order could address Armour's issues, while also taking into account his early plea and difficult conditions in custody.
Armour had admitted to evading police in Kangaroo Flat on the evening of September 10 this year.
The court heard Armour had parked at an IGA supermarket car park, when officers in an unmarked police car pulled up behind him and activated their lights and sirens.
Before they could exit their car, Armour turned his vehicle on and drove onto the curb.
The 32-year-old then drove towards the entrance of the store, narrowly missing two patrons who were exiting.
Armour's tyres were screeching as he sped off down Dunlop Street, swerving across the road and fleeing from police.
Police arrested Armour at his Jackass Flat home on September 14. Officers tried to handcuff the 32-year-old but he broke free and ran into a neighbouring dam.
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The court heard Armour repeatedly ignored police's instructions. He was eventually pepper sprayed and wrestled to the ground so he could be taken into custody.
Armour also pleaded guilty to handling goods that were stolen during a series of burglaries in Bendigo and Geelong.
Police allegedly found the items, which included registration plates and a motorbike, at Armour's Jackass Flat home on April 27.
Defence lawyer Nicholas Rolfe last week told the court Armour was willing to enter an early plea to the offences because of the difficult conditions in custody.
Magistrate Russell Kelly said he took that factor into consideration when sentencing Armour to five months in jail.
The 32-year-old's 70 days of pre-sentence detention were reckoned as already served.
Armour was also handed an 18-month community corrections order with a focus on treatment for mental health, alcohol abuse, and drug addiction.
"You know what you have to do," Mr Kelly told Armour. "It's completely up to you if you come back before the courts again."
Armour's licence was also cancelled and he was disqualified from driving for two years.
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