UPDATED THURSDAY 8.30am:
A former Warrnambool drug and alcohol counsellor who tried to run down a woman while drunk in his car has been ordered to do unpaid community work.
Jon Benson, 36, now of Manifold Street, Woolsthorpe, pleaded guilty in the Warrnambool Magistrates Court on Wednesday morning to reckless conduct endangering serious injury, breaching bail and court orders, making threats to kill and causing criminal damage.
He also pleaded guilty to a single unrelated charge of unlawful assault.
Benson was jailed for the 118 days he served in pre-sentence detention and placed on a community correction order.
Under that order he must 200 hours of unpaid community work and treatment for mental health and drug abuse.
Benson appeared remotely in the court as he lives with his parents, who both have COVID.
Police prosecutor Carolyn Howe said 5.15pm at on February 11 this year Benson was driving his gold Holden Statesman along Whites Road in Warrnambool.
He yelled out to people and threw a beer bottle while they took images of him.
He drove off, did a U-turn and headed back, mounting a footpath and drove close to a woman.
She stepped back to avoid being run down.
Benson again left but then returned 30 seconds later and witnesses tried to calm him down.
By 7.15pm that evening Benson had returned to his home where he smashed up his own vehicle with a baseball bat.
He was armed with a bottle and knife when he approached a neighbour, threatened to kill him and he stabbed a flywire door.
Police were called and when they arrived they found Benson was still armed with the knife.
Officers negotiated with Benson and arrested him.
He told them he had just snapped.
The woman who narrowly missed being run down said in a victim impact statement she had horrific nightmares about running away from the car.
"I think every day how close I was to death," she said, explaining the incident had a significant impact on her health and she had been forced to move out of her home.
Ms Howe said Benson told police he thought the woman was someone else and he "got the wrong person".
Lawyer Graeme Davis said his client had been a model of rehabilitation since his last release from prison, although he admitted Benson had a long criminal history.
He said Benson had worked as a drug and alcohol counsellor with the Western Region Drug and Alcohol Centre for a couple of years but that work had now ended.
The lawyer said Benson had made a significant difference to the lives of his clients.
Mr Davis said Benson had lapsed back into alcohol abuse during a tumultuous time in his life and had consumed a bottle of vodka before the offending.
He said his client had shown significant remorse and was now "back on the wagon".
In 2012 Benson pleaded guilty in Warrnambool court to a string of serious driving offences and was sentenced to a total of 39 months' jail, with a minimum of 18 months to serve.
The lawyer said his client was so intoxicated on February 11 he was unaware of his circumstances and had smashed up his own car with a baseball bat.
Magistrate Peter Mellas said it was offending of the highest order and it was only good luck that allowed the victim to move fast enough to avoid being run down.
He said if not for her jumping out of the way, Benson would be facing much more serious charges.
"Fortunately for you the worst outcome didn't occur," Mr Mellas said.
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