When drug user William Orde tried to pin a car crash on another man two years ago, he didn't realise his phone was being tapped by police.
The 29-year-old Warrnambool man was the driver of a black Jeep Cherokee that collided with a guard rail on the Hamilton Highway, west of Geelong, in the early morning of April 8, 2020
He fled the scene and later paid another man $4000 cash to take the blame.
But Orde was unaware Warrnambool police detectives investigating an unrelated matter had not long obtained a Supreme Court warrant to tap his phone.
He was overheard admitted to crashing the Jeep and fleeing the scene.
Orde pleaded guilty in Melbourne County Court on Tuesday to attempting to pervert the course of justice and three summary offences - driving in a manner dangerous, driving while disqualified and failing to report the accident.
He was jailed for nine months.
Orde has been in custody for more than two years and is serving a lengthy jail sentence that won't see him released until 2026 at the very earliest.
In May he was jailed for eight years and 10 months after pleading guilty to the savage beating of another man who suffered life-threatening and life-changing brain injuries.
Under that sentence, he must serve a non-parole period of six years and two months.
On Tuesday Judge Paul Lacava ordered five of the nine months be served cumulative to Orde's current imprisonment.
He said he accepted Orde was now drug-free and making the most of his time in custody.
Allansford's Tory Muller, 32, was last year jailed for 107 days over his involvement in the attempted cover up.
The court at the time heard police overhead a phone call in which Orde said he fled the scene of the crash because he was carrying $50,000 cash and a litre of GHB.
Orde then called a taxi and asked to be transported to Melbourne.
Muller agreed to take responsibility for the crash in exchange for $4000, some of which he used to purchase a $1800 blue Holden Commodore.
He falsely reported the incident to Warrnambool police on April 25, 2020, stating he was driving at 80km/h when he sneezed, saw a kangaroo and then swerved into the guard rail.
On Tuesday Judge Lacava said the charge of attempting to pervert the course of justice was a serious offence carrying a maximum penalty of 25 years.
"While at first blush (the offending) may appear to be victimless, the real victim is the administration of justice and for that reason courts regard offending of this kind as being very serious" he said.
Tim Marsh, representing Orde, conceded his client was the principal offender and was heavily affected by methamphetamine at the time of the crash.
But he said the crime Orde attempted to cover up was not as serious as other examples of attempting to pervert the course of justice, such as convincing a witness in a murder trial to change their statement.
The registered owner of the Jeep is also charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice and will face a directions hearing in the same court on August 25.
Orde is expected to front the Warrnambool Magistrates Court later this month in relation to a drug trafficking network allegedly uncovered during Operation Abalone, which police established in September 2019.
It was during that investigation the Supreme Court warrant was granted to tap Orde's phone.
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