A Ballarat man in his 30s who told police his car had been stolen in the hope of covering up a crash has been fined.
Events leading up to the offence began last November when the man lost control of his car on a suburban street in Alfredton, veering off the road before smashing into a letterbox and a tree.
The man had previously been sentenced to a community corrections order over a family violence incident and feared the crash would get him into more trouble with the law, phoning police “in a moment of panic”.
He made up a story and told officers his car had been stolen from outside a motel where he had been living.
Later, police found the man’s car on Windsor Road in Alfredton and became suspicious when they found there was damage to the car, a nearby tree and a letterbox.
They formed the view the man had been involved in the smash and had falsely reported his car as stolen.
The man immediately admitted he had made a false report when contacted by police, with his defence lawyer saying in court on Monday he was in a “heightened state of emotion” at the time of the offending.
The court heard the CCO had been imposed after the man threw a cane basket across a room, striking his partner’s child in the head.
He had since moved out of their house and had been living at motels before the crash.
In handing down his judgment, Magistrate Gregory Robinson said it was unusual that the man had committed the two offences within a short period of time.
“I’m suspicious you're falling off the rails about something you’re not telling us about,” Mr Robinson said.
The man was ordered to pay $1500.