A WARRNAMBOOL teenage driver who pleaded guilty in relation to a series of evading police incidents in Portland is expected to receive a community corrections order after spending 70 days in jail.
David Mitchell, 18, of Laverock Road, pleaded guilty in Warrnambool Magistrates Court in early November to more than 20 offences including four counts of evading police in the previous week.
Magistrate Cynthia Toose said on Monday she was greatly assisted by a mental health report which was tendered to the court which outlined Mitchell’s background and his difficulties.
She said Mitchell had been held in adult custody for 70 days, with most of that time spent at Port Phillip Prison while the facility was in lock down.
Mitchell has previously been sentenced to terms in youth justice centres.
“If the penny has not dropped now he will be back. He clearly needs supports to be put in place. It’s serious offending,” Ms Toose said.
The magistrate told Mitchell he would be assessed for his suitability to undertake a community corrections order.
Defence counsel Jack Rabl said at the time of the offending his client had seen police, panicked and drove off each time.
The solicitor said the mental health report did not reveal Mitchell had a serious psychiatric condition which improved his prospect of rehabilitation.
Mitchell’s case will be finalised in the Portland Magistrates Court on Tuesday.
Mitchell was wanted by Portland police in relation to four incidents of evading officers committed during late October.
At 10.20am on a Friday in late October Mitchell drove at 125km/h in a 60 zone down Portland’s Edgar Street placing the lives of others in danger.
A witness said that he and his son had just crossed a road when Mitchell drove passed, missing them by about four metres.
During the afternoon of the same day it’s alleged that Mitchell drove across a median strip onto the wrong side of Portland’s Gawler Street and he narrowly missed a group of school children who were crossing the road.
A mother with her nine-year-old daughter said she was certain the speeding car was going to lose control and crash.
Police allege that at 3.25am a couple of days previous Mitchell narrowly avoided colliding with a divisional van.
He then drove onto the wrong side of the road at the intersection of Hurd and Tyers streets and crashed head-on with a stationary delivery van.
A front number plate fell off Mitchell’s dark coloured Holden Commodore at the accident scene and it was registered to another vehicle.