A man who was clocked driving at 187 kilometres per hour on the Western Highway while high on ice has been jailed for 14 months.
Facing the Ballarat Magistrates' Court from the dock, Mathew Lucas, 30, was given a non-parole period of seven months after pleading guilty to charges including theft of a motor vehicle, reckless conduct, and speeding, as well as driving unregistered and with false number plates.
The court was told Lucas was first spotted driving erratically in an easterly direction near Pimpinio on December 27, 2018, after he overtook a police car on the highway at speed.
Police attempted to give chase but were hindered by the busy traffic - an initial speed radar recorded 133kmh, and closer to the town, he was recorded at 154kmh in an 80 zone.
The chase continued into Horsham, where Lucas was seen driving down the centre of the road, and CCTV shows he failed to stop for traffic lights.
Lucas continued driving towards Stawell, where he avoided police stop sticks by overtaking vehicles in heavy traffic.
He was able to avoid more stop sticks at Ararat, where police observed him driving at high speed.
At the Eurembeen interchange, police recorded Lucas driving at 187kmh.
Past Beaufort, police stop sticks blew out one of his tyres, where he still refused to stop - he was eventually arrested.
Investigations revealed the BMW he was driving had been stolen from Dandenong, and he was using false number plates.
A preliminary breath test was negative, but an oral fluid sample was positive - further analysis revealed the presence of methamphetamine.
His licence had previously been suspended and he was on a community corrections order at the time for ice-related offences, which began in November.
The court was told Lucas has served 145 days in custody, and before he lost his job he was a hard worker who contributed to the community and looked after his two children.
After losing his job, he then began using ice, a habit which escalated.
Magistrate Gregory Robinson said it was a sad but common situation.
"We've got to attack the drug dealers, he doesn't even have a traffic history, but he takes drugs and becomes a crazy man," he said.
"It's a good person who's lost the plot because he's taken ice."
His defence lawyer argued he had pleaded guilty and had undertaken rehabilitation programs while in custody.
The forced abstinence from drugs while in jail had been a "circuit breaker", he said, after being untreated since he last faced court.
"He hasn't lived the majority of his life in this state," he told the court.
"He's not a man with a consistent history of breaching orders."
The police prosecutor said it was high-level offending, and called for a strong sentence because Lucas was on a community corrections order, and because of community expectations in light of the especially high road toll in Ballarat and surrounds in the last few months.
Mr Robinson agreed, handing down an extended term of imprisonment as well as a $1000 fine, with an additional two months in jail for breaching the CCO.
"We make a joke of these CCOs if this is what you can get away with - driving halfway across Victoria on drugs and I'll give you another CCO?" he asked.
"Specific deterrence won't make a difference, the only thing that'll make a difference is getting off the drugs."
He noted that Lucas would have read stories like his in the paper with disbelief before he fell into ice.
"I'm hoping with support you can get in custody and on parole, you can get back to where you were in the last 10 years of your life," he said.
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