A man who left another man to die at a crash scene in Brighton in July 2017 appeared via video link in Ballarat Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, charged with breaching a Community Corrections Order (CCO).
Santino Bankal, 29, of Ballarat had pleaded guilty to failing to help Ashleigh Gason, 21, who died when his motorbike collided with the car Bankal was driving on the Nepean Highway.
At the time, Bankal was on a community corrections order and was disqualified from driving. He had only ever held a learner's permit.
County Court County Court Judge Susan Pullen told a pre-sentence hearing in June 2018 that Bankal’s actions in walking around the burning car and then leaving with his girlfriend and the dog they had rescued from the car, was “callous in the extreme.”
Witnesses had tried to help Mr Gason whose motorbike had burst into flames in the collision.
Ballarat court was told Bankal is now serving a prison sentence of three years and four months but had not completed any of a 12-month CCO from March 2017.
An interpreter attended court to assist Bankal’s defence solicitor who said Bankal had “experienced a period of homelessness while living in Ballarat” in 2017 and did not have “stable accommodation.”
She said Bankal had been remanded since 15 June 2018 and was already serving a sentence for “failing to render assistance at the scene of a motor vehicle accident where someone died”.
“I’m not wishing to appeal this today but it was an extrarodinary sentence in the circumstances,” she said.
Magistrate Clive Alsop cancelled the CCO, found the breach proven and convicted Bankal to one month’s jail to be served concurrently with his current sentence.
“It won’t affect your release date,” he told Bankal.