Residents who were lucky to escape injury when a drug driver ploughed into their Warrnambool home are reminded of the terrifying event every day, still unable to afford repairs to the extensive damage.
The 21-year-old driver, Bailey Rule, lost control of his car before a bend while speeding on a 50km/h road and crashed into a wall of the house. The crash happened in Warrnambool in April 2019.
Rule, from Ballarat, was not wearing a seatbelt and was flung to the passenger side, his head hitting the windscreen and causing a head imprint. He told police he was angry because his girlfriend had left him, he was speeding and had used cannabis and methamphetamine. Police prosecutor Senior Constable Giles Brown said Rule was "lucky to be alive and no one in the house was hurt".
"The accused is not insured. Damage to the house was extensive and the owner has not yet been able to afford to get it fixed," he said.
Rule appeared at the Ballarat Magistrates' Court on Friday via video link from custody.
He pleaded guilty to the driving offending, as well as breaking into a Ballarat house while a family was asleep, stealing property, then returning to steal a car which was later found burnt out in state forest in April 2021.
Rule was also charged with making a threat to kill a police officer when he was arrested for the aggravated burglary.
The court heard Rule committed the aggravated burglary only weeks after he was released from prison when he was sentenced in the County Court and placed on a community corrections order.
"To return to this level and seriousness of offending is something that is highly relevant and very serious for you," Magistrate Ron Saines said.
"Aggravated burglary is what normal members of the public are so scared of. When they go to sleep tonight they hope to feel safe."
Defence lawyer Nikhil Sood said Rule came from a disadvantaged background, had mental health issues and was a young offender, so rehabilitation was paramount.
Rule was sentenced to 12 months' imprisonment, with a six month non-parole period.
He has already served more than three months imprisonment.
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