A Warrnambool man has been jailed after stealing a car from someone he believed was making romantic overtures to his partner.
Aaron Mitchem, 36, pleaded guilty in Warrnambool Magistrates Court on Friday to theft of a motor vehicle.
The court heard the man was a disqualified driver when he attended a residential premises in Warrnambool's Banyan Street on June 11, 2020.
There were a number of people at the property socialising, including the victim.
The court heard Mitchem believed the victim was making romantic overtures to his partner and the environment became hostile.
He located the victim's keys and hopped into his Holden utility.
As he reversed out of the driveway, the victim banged on the window in an attempt to stop the theft.
The victim was nearly run over as Mitchem and a co-accused fled in the vehicle.
The theft was reported to the police and the vehicle was later found dumped.
Paul Tomlinson, representing Mitchem, conceded his client had a criminal history that involved drug offences and thefts of motor vehicles.
But he said the circumstances in the current offending was distinguished from that in his history.
"It is not drug related and is not consistent with his history," he said.
"This is an isolated incident with a gentleman he didn't know prior to that day."
Magistrate Peter Mellas said Mitchem had reacted to a situation and effectively tried to take the law into his own hands.
"That meant committing offences," he said.
"You have a very ordinary (criminal) history and anytime you behave this way, you are most likely going to be sentenced to a period of imprisonment."
Mitchem was jailed for two months and 14 days.
He has already served 58 days in custody on remand.
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