A FORMER Warrnambool man with a poor record of offending has had his four-month jail sentence reimposed for a serious assault — plus new penalties for other offences.
Jayson Vivian Best, 23, now of Melbourne, pleaded guilty in Warrnambool County Court earlier this week to attempting to pervert the course of justice, reckless conduct endangering serious injury and driving while disqualified.
He also appealed against the severity of a four-month jail sentence for intentionally causing injury.
Yesterday, Judge Mark Taft reimposed the four-month immediate term on the assault charge.
He also handed down a $1700 fine for attempting to pervert the course of justice and a six-month jail sentence, which was suspended for 12 months, for driving while disqualified and reckless conduct endangering serious injury.
Earlier this week Judge Taft said that by far the biggest charge Best faced was the serious assault. He said Best’s past was catching up with him, with two prior convictions for recklessly causing injury.
He said that without the character evidence of his employer Best could well have received a more lengthy jail term.
The $1700 fine for attempting to pervert the course of justice was the same penalty as that imposed in court on Best’s former girlfriend on the same charge earlier this year.
The prosecution alleged that Best and his then girlfriend, Melissa Hunt, 23, attempted to pervert the course of justice when she claimed to have been driving when Best crashed his car. Best was a disqualified driver at the time.
The prosecution said that at 8.50pm on November 30, 2010, Hunt was driving Best’s red Holden Calais in Warrnambool with Best as a passenger.
Hunt commented a number of times about difficulties with the vehicle’s brakes and after pulling up on Raglan Parade Best started driving to check the vehicle.
He accelerated heavily and crashed into traffic lights at the Fairy Street intersection. Hunt decided to slide into the driver’s seat but later admitted to police she had not been driving. Best also admitted to police that he had been the driver.
The prosecution requested compensation of almost $5000 for the damage to the traffic lights and call-out fees for the Warrnambool Fire Brigade.
The appeal matter related to Best being sentenced in Warrnambool Magistrate Court to six months’ imprisonment with four months to serve immediately and two months suspended for two years for an assault.
On January 25 last year Best went to Mount Clay where a number of friends were socialising. Best was intoxicated and an argument broke out at a campsite between the friends and Best’s mates.
Best suddenly charged one man and punched him, fracturing a cheekbone and eye socket, which required surgery.