Bryce O’Donnell has been jailed for dangerously driving down the same strip of Melbourne where James Gargasoulas killed six people.Source:Supplied
A Ballarat man who drove his car down the same section of Bourke St where James Gargasoulas mowed down six people will be released from jail on a community corrections order
With time already spent on remand for the dangerous runaway chase, Bryce O’Donnell will walk out of prison on Friday following his sentencing at Melbourne Magistrates Court.
Bryce O’Donnell pleaded guilty at Melbourne Magistrates Court on Thursday to dangerously driving through the Bourke Street Mall earlier this year, putting people’s lives at risk in a panicked attempt to avoid police.Source:Supplied
During his brief sentencing on Friday, the court was told O’Donnell’s driving was reckless and could have put lives at risk, but Magistrate Stella Stuthridge said he was still a young offender and the court had to take into account his chances at rehabilitation.
O’Donnell, 20, had earlier pleaded guilty to a raft of charges, including several thefts from cars prior to his runaway chase.
The court was told O’Donnell was in the car with a friend while they were driving to the city on January 28.
At the time, he was on bail for unrelated offences.
O’Donnell took the wheel after his friend got nervous in the city but realised he was not allowed to drive as part of his bail conditions.
In a “panic” he drove down the no-vehicle zone on Swanson St just after 4.50pm that day.
Police attempted to stop O’Donnell’s car (pictured) as he drove down the mall but the young man drove off.Source:Supplied
Police attempted to intercept the car, but O’Donnell continued driving through the Bourke Street Mall, eventually hitting a bollard.
Pedestrians and officers alike had to jump out of the way to avoid being hit.
The green Mitsubishi Lancer was found in an underground carpark in Albert Park.
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The court was told the car had been wiped down with vegetable oil and no prints could be taken from it.
A week later O’Donnell was arrested hiding out at a friend’s home in Ballarat.
The green Lancer hit a bollard during the runaway chase through one of Melbourne’s busiest thoroughfares.Source:Supplied
The court was told the incident “no doubt” conjured up similar images of the horrifying vehicular attack by James Gargasoulas, who mowed down pedestrians during a drug-fuelled rampage in 2017 along the same strip of the mall.
Gargasoulas is serving life in prison for killing six people.
James Gargasoulas is serving life in jail for killing six people.Source:AAP
During sentencing, Ms Stuthridge took into account O’Donnell’s troubled upbringing, including his substance abuse since his teen years.
O’Donnell’s legal aid lawyer Eleanor Millar told the court on Thursday that her client had a limited education and work history but had work available upon release.
Ms Stuthridge said O’Donnell’s driving was “reckless conduct” that put the public at serious risk.
O’Donnell will be released from jail on a community corrections order.Source:Supplied
She placed O’Donnell on a community corrections order for six months, ordering him to perform 50 hours of community work.
His time spent in pre-sentence custody since February was declared as time served.Internet Explorer Channel Network