Man to undergo psych probe

June 29, 2017

A Merrigum man who pleaded guilty in Shepparton Magistrates' Court to driving offences will be sentenced after the magistrate sees his psychological report.

A Merrigum man with a history of drug dependence and mental health issues put lives at risk as he sped through busy Shepparton streets on the wrong side of the road.

The man, who can not be named for legal reasons, faced Shepparton Magistrates’ Court last Tuesday.

He pleaded guilty to a range of charges laid after he got behind the wheel while he was high on methamphetamines, or ice.

Leading Senior Constable Kim Talbot said the mayhem started on the evening of January 19 last year when the man got behind the wheel of a black Holden Statesman.

He drove through a red light at the Wyndham St intersection, before stopping in the centre causing many cars to swerve to avoid a crash.

He then started driving down the middle of the road, again at high speed, and dangerously overtook trucks while swerving erratically.

According to witnesses, the man was driving faster than 100km/h, or more than 40km/h above the speed limit, while occasionally swerving to the wrong side of the road.

As he was driving towards Kialla he lost control and skidded more than 150m before running into a nearby channel of water.

‘‘He appeared paranoid, he thought people were out to kill him,’’ Ldg Sen Const Talbot said.

Police spent some time convincing the man to leave the water, as he feared his life was in danger.

After he was arrested, police discovered he was not licensed to drive and was under the effects of methamphetamines during the incident.

Defence lawyer Ian Michaelson said his client had a range of mental health issues and problems with substance abuse, including methamphetamines and alcohol.

Magistrate David Faram adjourned sentencing until after a psychological report could be conducted on the man.

A charge of possession of cannabis was dropped after the substance was discovered to be a harmless variant of potpourri.

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