UPDATED January 13:
A man who drove through a school gate before driving dangerously at police was convicted and given a heavy community corrections order.
Patrick Dilges faced the Ballarat Magistrates' Court on Wednesday, having already pleaded guilty to several charges stemming from several incidents in 2019.
Magistrate Ron Saines said he noted Dilges' relative youth, guilty plea, and lack of offending since the incidents.
"I described the seriousness previously as driving to escape police, and driving dangerously on three occasions - the danger was not just for yourself but to others," he said.
"There was also theft and burglary at a neighbour's property in Dereel, and much of the property stolen by you has not been returned, and the owners have not been compensated."
Dilges was already on an incomplete community corrections order at the time, which has been varied - he will have to complete 100 hours of unpaid community work in the next 12 months.
He was also handed a second order, with another 100 hours of unpaid community work, as well as a requirement to be assessed and treated for drug and mental health issues.
Orders for restitution for the gate and disqualifying Dilges from driving were made last week.
A man sped down footpaths on a motorbike on busy Ballarat roads to evade police before he was launched off when he hit a sign, a court has heard.
The 'dangerous' offending took place in October 2019, the same year he caused $9000 damage to a gate at a Ballarat school, narrowly missed hitting a police car and stole tools from his neighbour's shed.
Patrick Dilges pleaded guilty to 18 charges via video link at the Ballarat Magistrates' Court on Tuesday.
Police prosecutor Senior Constable Giles Brown said the offending began in February 2019 when Dilges drove with his headlights off into the gate at Ballarat Christian College.
He then mounted a curb and drove at a police car, narrowly avoiding hitting it and continued to drive away.
Police arrested Dilges when he eventually stopped the car due to damage and found he did not have a driver's licence and was in possession of cannabis.
Let there be no doubt this is very serious offending that would ordinarily be the basis for me to impose imprisonment.Magistrate Ron Saines
Dilges told police he believed a car was following him as he had recently been threatened, so he turned his lights off and did not see the school gate.
He said he had taken cannabis a few hours earlier.
The court heard other charges relate to offending in May 2019 when Dilges and an unknown accomplice drove into his neighbour's property in Dereel, forced entry to the shed and stole tools.
He later told police he had grabbed anything of value from the property to get money for drugs.
Magistrate Ron Saines said the most concerning offending happened in October 2019 when Dilges rode a motorbike with no registration plates on footpaths around Ballarat, including on busy Howitt Street.
The court heard police attempted to stop him a number of times but he sped away at up to 80km/h.
Senior Constable Brown said Dilges attempted to mount a gutter, but collided with a sign which launched him from the bike and he landed on the median strip.
Checks showed his licence had been cancelled and the bike was unregistered.
Dilges told police he purchased the bike but it might have been stolen and he was 'pretty stoned' and could not remember what drug he had taken.
Defence lawyer David Tamanika urged the court to consider a non custodial sentence due to Dilges' youth and prospects of rehabilitation as a recovering drug user.
He said Dilges was not currently employed but was looking to get back to work and was living with his mother in Dereel.
Magistrate Ron Saines said he would consider a community corrections order, despite the seriousness of the offending.
"Let there be no doubt this is very serious offending that would ordinarily be the basis for me to impose imprisonment," he said.
Mr Saines said the offending was highly dangerous and Dilges persistently defied police, particularly during the October 2019 offending with the motorbike.
"You are still a relatively young man," he said.
"There has not been a continuation of offending since October 2019 and it is proper there be an opportunity given to you for rehabilitation and supervision in the community rather than going to prison straight up."
Dilges will be assessed for a community corrections order and will return to court next week.
His licence is disqualified for 12 months and he will be ordered to pay $9500 restitution for damage to the school gates.
- with Alex Ford
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