Delacombe's Tom Dwyer avoids jail for speeding around Lake Wendouree at 120km/h

DANGER: Tom Dwyer, 21, was sentenced in the Ballarat Magistrates Court on Wednesday.
DANGER: Tom Dwyer, 21, was sentenced in the Ballarat Magistrates Court on Wednesday.

A young hoon driver clocked travelling more than three times the speed limit during a police chase around Ballarat’s iconic lake has escaped immediate jail.

Tom Dwyer came close to a jail sentence on Wednesday, with a Ballarat magistrate describing his driving behaviour as dangerous and a danger to the public’s safety.

The 21-year-old reached speeds of 120km/h in a 40km/h zone on Wendouree Parade as he sped around Lake Wendouree in September 2017.

Police first saw Dwyer driving on Sturt Street when officers used a laser gun to detect he was speeding upwards of 115km/h.

Officers activated their lights and sirens and attempted an intercept, but he accelerated and tried to shake them.

The police pursuit was called off for safety reasons when Dwyer reached speeds of 120km/h.

A month later in October, the Delacombe man he was caught speeding at 130km/h in a 60km/h zone on Sturt Street.

Police again tried to pull him over, but he turned off his lights in a bid to avoid detection, driving 60km/h through a service station before fleeing down Pleasant Street.

Dwyer was sentenced to an 18-month Community Corrections Order at the Ballarat Magistrates Court on Wednesday.

He had pleaded guilty in May to 24 offences, including serious driving offences, that stretched back to 2016.

On six occasions between August 2016 and August 2017, Dwyer drove while his licence was suspended.

In sentencing Dwyer, magistrate Ron Saines said Dwyer’s driving behaviour was dangerous and the court must consider the public’s safety.

“On two occasions from September 30 to October 10 you drove away while being pursued by police in residential areas in Ballarat,” Mr Saines said.

“(You were) driving at a fast rate of speed and driving dangerously. This combination of driving at a speed dangerous is a strong cause for jail here.”

Mr Saines said another reason why jail was in the range was the court’s consideration of the public’s safety.

The author of a medical report tendered to the court stated she did not want its contents disclosed in an open court.

Defence lawyer Andrew Madden pushed for a Community Corrections Order, saying his client had strong family support.

Taking into account Dwyer’s personal circumstances and young age, Mr Saines sentenced Dwyer to the CCO, which includes a requirement to complete 200 hours of unpaid community work and a road trauma awareness program.

In total, his licence was disqualified for 14 months.