Man appeals three months jail for running over woman

A WARRNAMBOOL man who drove his car at and then ran over his partner has appealed his jail sentence.

Aaron Watson, 34 of Rutledge Street, pleaded guilty in the Warrnambool Magistrates Court to reckless conduct endangering life.

Police prosecutor senior constable Paul Harris said Watson and his partner had been in a relationship for three years and had a 12-week-old-baby at the time of the offending.

The court heard that on December 27 Watson and his partner had an argument in the morning and another in the afternoon. At 4.30pm the woman left the house to see her mother.

Watson put the baby in a Holden Commodore and drove down Fairfax Avenue where the woman was walking along the pavement. He told her to get in the car because he wanted to go to the supermarket but the woman refused.

Watson continued driving, performed a u-turn and drove towards the woman. The car hit the woman and she was thrown onto the bonnet.

The court heard Watson reversed back and gave assistance to the woman who was screaming for help. The woman told police she saw the car coming towards her but didn’t believe it would hit her.

Senior Constable Paul Harris said one witness told police he did not see the vehicle brake heavily or skid.

The woman suffered significant lacerations to her right leg, required 20 stitches and also a broken ankle.

When interviewed by police Watson maintained his innocence, he said he was doing about 30km/h and didn't have control of the vehicle.

Defence counsel Alex McCulloch said Watson grew up in Koroit and had a history of drug abuse.

He said Watson has used cannabis on and off for ten years and in 2009 started using harder drugs. Mr McCulloch said Watson had been drug free since 2016.

He said it was serious offending, had caused serious injury, and it was a horrible lapse in judgement. He said Watson had begun the Men’s Behaviour Change Program.

Magistrate Cynthia Toose said Watson’s prior history demonstrated that community correction orders hadn’t been effective. She said the court and the community were right to be concerned when someone had an argument with their partner and then drove back and hit them.

She said given there was no braking, no skidding, no traffic hazards and no defects to the vehicle, a term of imprisonment had to be imposed.

Watson was disqualified from driving for two years and he was jailed for three months. Watson was later bailed on appeal.

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