A magistrate has warned a man came within a 'whisker' of receiving a jail sentence on Monday for evading police and endangering the public.
Jacob Collins, 27, pleaded guilty to driving at a dangerous speed, driving on drugs and evading police at the Ballarat Magistrates' Court on Monday.
Police prosecutor Senior Constable Steve Repac told the court police detected Collins' vehicle was unregistered when he was driving in Wendouree in June.
Police made a u-turn and flashed their lights at Collins before he sped away at 100km/h in a 50km/h zone to evade police.
When police intercepted Collins for erratic driving, he got out of the car and fled on foot.
He was located in Wattle Avenue in Wendouree and taken to the police station where an oral fluid test indicated the presence of methamphetamine in his oral fluid.
"If you come back to court in this context you will be going to jail,Magistrate Gregory Robinson
Police impounded Collins' vehicle. When interviewed, he blamed anxiety for running from the vehicle.
Defence lawyer Heidi Keighran provided two character references to the court and referred to Collins' mother, step-mother and father who were present in court to support him.
Ms Keighran said Collins was 'coming down' from using drugs and was having a panic attack the 'whole day' of the offending - he was going to the supermarket, saw police and panicked.
"Mr Collins has turned his life around dramatically in the last six months - he is working full time, has addressed his mental health issues and abstained from using drugs," she said.
In her submissions to the court, Ms Keighran said a fine would be an appropriate sentence given he had made changes in his life to address mental health issues and drug and alcohol addiction that had resulted in his offending in the past.
Magistrate Gregory Robinson said while Ms Keighran had done a 'good job' of representing Collins' good character, it was now his fourth appearance in court and jail was a possibility.
"I think this is the pinnacle of your criminal offending where you are putting the community at risk and have been disobeying the law for a significant period of time," he said.
"You have within a whisker avoided going to jail today. People who evade police by doing 100km/h in a 50km/h zone should not expect to come to court and walk out with a fine."
Collins was sentenced to an 18 month community corrections order with a requirement to complete 300 hours of community work and was disqualified from driving for 12 months.
"If you come back to court in this context you will be going to jail," Mr Robinson said.
"You can thank your lawyer on the way out because I was going to send you to jail."