A Ballarat man charged with ramming a police vehicle and risking the lives of police officers in April this year, has been committed to stand trial in the County Court.
Anthony Slater, 26, appeared in Ballarat Magistrates Court on Tuesday to contest the charges, the most serious of which is intentionally placing an emergency worker at risk.
Slater faces a slew of summary charges, and has pleaded not guilty to multiple indictable charges, including reckless driving causing damage to an emergency vehicle.
During the contested committal hearing before Magistrate Gregory Robinson, Detective Sergeant Steve Howard and police informant Senior Constable Scott De La Rue were cross examined by defence barrister Matthew Cookson.
Sergeant Howard was asked about his weight, his 34 years of police experience, to describe the accused’s “fighting stance” on the night in question.
He was also asked about what happened when Slater was “tackled” during the arrest and whether he had “blood on his face.”
“There was certainly dirt on his face, but it was more grazing. It wasn’t running blood,” Sergeant Howard said.
Mr Cookson showed recorded CCTV footage of police arriving at the address on April 11, and questioned the detective about the sequence of events and his recollection of “intermittent flashing lights” on the police vehicle dashboard.
It is alleged when police arrived, Slater reversed into a police vehicle and resisted arrest outside a Dalwood Court house at Delacombe.
Senior Constable Scott De La Rue was asked about why several people in the Dalwood Court street were not further questioned.
“There was no person standing clearly observing the whole incident,” he said.
“It was dark and I wasn’t aware of people looking over the fence.”
Mr Cookson continued to question the informant about charges relating to alleged earlier incidents, including when it is alleged the accused was at a sporting goods store at Wendouree.
The court heard a store attendant had seen the accused and a woman behaving “suspiciously” and had followed them into the car park and had taken photographs.
The attendant stated the accused had a screwdriver and the woman was aggressive and threatening and trying to stop her taking photos.
The photographs of the accused, the vehicle and the registration plate form part of the prosecution evidence brief.
Mr Cookson said it was “speculation at its highest” that his client was the person later observed by police as the man driving the car that was later involved in a driving incident.
“There are a lot of males with brown hair,” he said, suggesting it was possible another person had taken over as driver after the vehicle had left Wendouree.
Magistrate Robinson said he respected Mr Cookson’s position but said, “I do consider there is evidence of sufficient weight to afford a conviction.”
Mr Robinson committed Slater to stand trial in the County Court and scheduled a directions hearing for 18 October in Ballarat.