Alleged Clunes crash driver to face court next year

The alleged driver of a vehicle which crashed at Clunes on Friday, leaving his teenager passenger trapped for more than two hours will face court next year.

Christopher Durek appeared briefly before the Ballarat Magistrates Court on Monday where he was remanded to return to court on January 12.

His lawyer, Andrew Madden, made no application for bail, telling the court police prosecution were still determining which jurisdiction the matter should be heard in.

It is alleged Durek struck two parked cars in Service Street, Clunes early Friday morning, leaving his teenage passenger trapped for more than two hours while emergency services worked to free him.

Durek then allegedly fled from the scene.

The male teenager passenger was treated by paramedics from 12.30am to 2.30am before he was freed from the vehicle and flown by air ambulance to The Alfred hospital with critical head, back and leg injuries. 

Facebook purchase lands Ballarat man in hot water

A 22-year-old Ballarat man who unknowingly purchased a stolen car from a mate of a mate, of a mate, of a mate on Facebook has fronted court.

Adrian Smith pleaded guilty to using the stolen car he payed $600 for, as well as unlicensed driving, at the Ballarat Magistrates’ Court on Monday.

The court heard the car had been stolen from an Invermay Park address on June 27, with the accused purchasing it over Facebook two days later.

He was then intercepted in the car, which had been started by a screwdriver, by police on his way to Hungry Jacks.

He told police while he did not get a receipt for the car, or check the car’s history, he was surprised to hear it was stolen.

His lawyer told the court Smith, who had no criminal priors, was a different person than he was in July.

He said when Smith bought the car he was using drugs, but shortly after being apprehended he checked himself into a rehabilitation centre.

He added Smith had since not touched any drugs.

Magistrate Gregory Robinson said it was positive Smith took steps to deal with his drug addiction.

He placed Smith on an adjourned undertaking without conviction for 12 months with orders to donate $600 to the court fund for the stolen car.

Smith was also convicted and fined $400 for unlicensed driving.