An unlicensed Ballarat driver was fleeing the police when he crashed into a paddock fence and ran from the scene, leaving three passengers trapped in the vehicle in darkness.
Conner Mulcahy, 25, said on Friday he accepted his driving behaviour at Sebastopol in April was "foolish" and he put his passengers at risk of danger.
Police prosecutor Senior Constable Ben Jones told the online Ballarat Magistrates Court police saw a Hyundai Elantra travelling south along Sutton Street at a fast speed at 2.15am on April 1.
He said the vehicle continued speeding along Tait Street until skidding, mounting a kerb and crashing into a paddock fence.
Wire surrounded the vehicle, preventing the two female and male passengers to immediately get out of the vehicle. The wire had to be cut for one of the passengers to exit.
Senior Constable Jones said the passengers' description of the man, who ran from the car crash, matched that of Mulcahy. He was arrested two weeks later and asked about the crash.
Mulcahy told officers, "f*** you, Jack", "how the f***did I get out of the driver's seat when there was wire around the car?", and he called the passengers "f***ing laggers".
Mulcahy's offending to support his methamphetamine habit continued in June when he targeted a number of properties in Mount Clear, Mount Helen and Buninyong.
Senior Constable Jones said between June 26 and 27 Mulcahy gained access to an Olympic Avenue garage after keys were left in a door.
He said the accused rummaged around in two vehicles before he gained access to a larger shed which stored vintage vehicles.
Mulcahy then got inside a garden shed where he stole a pair of garden gloves.
The court was told CCTV footage from an Eddy Avenue property showed Mulcahy wearing the stolen garden gloves as he tried to enter a vehicle.
Senior Constable Jones said at another property, Mulcahy got inside a Ford sedan and rummaged through it before stealing a bank card. The card was cancelled before he could use it.
He said Mulcahy then walked through bushland towards Buninyong where he entered the backyard of another property.
Mulcahy tried to enter the back sliding doors but the victim's 11-year-old daughter saw him, and he saw her, and he fled.
Senior Constable Jones said police attended a property at Blowhard on June 29 and Mulcahy fled on foot across a paddock but officers caught up to him and he was arrested.
He was wearing the same clothing as the man captured on the CCTV footage from the Mount Helen property.
Mulcahy told police there was no reason why he would touch any vehicle that didn't belong to him.
Defence barrister Luke McPhie his client had formally been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, adjustment disorder, depression and anxiety.
He said Mulcay's methamphetamine use escalated four years ago and his crime-spree occurred to fuel his habit.
"He has been unable to break that cycle," Mr McPhie said.
"The key for Mr Mulcahy is to break the cycle and stop him from going into custody again."
Mr McPhie said in relation to the offending, Mulcahy understood he put people at risk of danger in the car crash and it would have been confronting for the 11-year-old girl who saw him trying to get inside her house.
"The offending is foolish. He accepts he has a history of unlicensed driving. He understands he put his passengers at risk," Mr McPhie said.
The defence barrister said Mulcahy's offending was not sophisticated or planned and he did not receive any financial gain.
Mr McPhie urged the court to consider a combination sentence of a community corrections order and prison. He said Mulcahy did not want to spend the next 50 to 60 years in and out of prison.
Mr McPhie said Mulcahy had spent periods of time in prison in quarantine and lockdown, he had no in-person visits from family and there were limited programs due to COVID-19.
When he is eventually released from prison, Mulchay will live at his former partner's house in Ballarat.
Magistrate Ron Saines told Mulcahy he accepted he had some mental health issues but he would sentence him "based on your criminality is related to drug abuse, not mental health".
He said there were sentencing considerations of the significant impact of the community's safety and wellbeing.
"It's your choices that lead you to be involved in crime," Mr Saines said.
Mulcahy will be assessed for a community corrections order and return to the online court on September 21.
He pleaded guilty to 11 charges, including attempted burglary, unlicensed driving, dangerous driving and theft.
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