A man accused of attempting to run down pedestrians in Warrnambool will spend at least 12 months in custody as he awaits his next court date.
Billy Slater, 25, of Lachlan Road, Melton South, appeared in Warrnambool Magistrates Court charged with theft, reckless conduct endangering life and driving offences.
He is accused of driving a maroon 2000 Ford Fairmont sedan at a number of pedestrians standing near Warrnambool's Flying Horse Bar and Brewery in March, causing them to take evasive action.
One victim fell to the ground as the vehicle mounted the curb at fast speed.
The driver caused the wheels of the car to screech and omit smoke before fleeing the area.
Police allege there was a 15-year-old boy in the vehicle.
It is believed the pedestrians were attempting to help the boy earlier that day after he was found roaming the streets on his own.
The sedan was later clocked at 140km/h on the Penshurst-Warrnambool Road about 4pm and a police pursuit began.
The accused allegedly tried to ram a police divisional van, causing officers to take evasive action and terminate the pursuit for safety reasons.
The Fairmont eventually ran out of fuel and was found on the outskirts of Caramut by a Mortlake police officer about 6pm.
Mr Slater was located nearby with a female and the child.
The man, who did not hold a driver's licence, was arrested.
He made a no-comment interview and was remanded in custody.
Mr Slater is also accused of stealing items, including a Nintendo Switch worth about $400, from Warrnambool's Good Guys and Harvey Norman stores.
Magistrate Michael Coghlan said if the man pleaded guilty to the charges he would be jailed for 12 months, with seven months already served in custody on remand.
But Mr Slater said he would contest the charges as he wasn't the driver of the vehicle on the day of the offending.
The court heard CCTV footage showed the man driving the vehicle at the Flying Horse Bar and Brewery but Mr Slater said there was a change of driver, with the offending occurring about 45 minutes later.
Another driver is yet to be identified.
The matter was adjourned until February 25 for a one-day contested hearing.
Mr Slater will have spent 12 months in custody at that time.
If he is found guilty he will not be eligible for an early plea sentencing discount.
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