Driver on the run after being told he would be jailed

A WARRNAMBOOL driver involved in a hit-and-run accident is now on the run after being told he would be jailed.

Andrew Richard Pike, 39, of Hopetoun Road, pleaded guilty in the Warrnambool Magistrates Court this week to failing to exchange his name and address, failing to render assistance and failing to stop after an accident, failing to give way and three counts of driving while disqualified.

That offending breached a three-month suspended jail sentence and magistrate Peter Mellas indicated Pike would have to serve some time in prison.

Pike was also assessed for a community corrections order but failed to return to court after that assessment and a warrant was yesterday issued for his arrest. In his plea hearing on Thursday, defence counsel Matt Senia said Pike had lengthy prior convictions but now there was a raft of reports detailing Pike’s extraordinary number of disabilities.

However, Mr Mellas said there was little new information which would allow Pike to avoid serving the previously suspended jail sentence.

He said it was clear the defendant had enormous issues but he was now a significant risk to everyone else on the roads.

Mr Senia submitted the medical information made it clear Pike’s mental condition was deteriorating and he was being compared to someone suffering dementia.

Mr Mellas said he knew people with dementia and some of them were struggling to put one foot in front of the other while Pike was driving to Horsham and back. He said he couldn’t sentence Pike on the basis he felt sorry for him.

Mr Senia said Pike had acquired a brain injury in an accident which killed his mother, he had issues with alcohol and had untreated post traumatic stress disorder.

Police alleged that Pike lost his licence for two years in the Mildura Magistrates Court on March 1 last year. He was then caught driving near Horsham on October 3, and on January 23 this year in Warrnambool’s Wanstead Street.

In between he was involved in an accident at the Henna and Koroit streets roundabout on October 22.

He drove off after crashing into a woman in a Toyota Corolla, causing almost $3000 damage.

Police caught up with Pike an hour after the accident. They are now looking for him again.