News

Shepparton man pleads guilty to almost 50 charges

By Ashlea Witoslawski

A local man has pleaded guilty to almost 50 charges, with several linked to an incident in which he drove a stolen car into the bedroom of a Shepparton home.

Jamaine Baksh, 22, appeared at Shepparton Magistrates’ Court last week, facing numerous driving offences dating back to December 1 last year.

Baksh was joined in court by family members and staff from Yitjawudik Recovery Centre in Toolamba, with charges relating to excessive speed, driving while disqualified, failing to stop after an accident, driving an unregistered vehicle, reckless driving and conduct endangering life, theft of a motor vehicle, driving without number plates, resisting an emergency worker and bail offences.

On May 22 this year, Baksh was involved in an incident on the corner of Stanley and Archer Sts, Shepparton, in which the stolen Holden sedan he was driving lost control at high speed and struck a property, causing major damage to a house and fencing.

Shepparton police prosecutor Leading Senior Constable Kim Thomson told the court the accused was disqualified from driving at the time when he clipped the roadside kerb while attempting to evade police.

Baksh was on bail at the time and fled the scene.

At about 12am on May 29, Baksh was observed driving erratically down the wrong side of the road and doing burnouts on Wyndham and Macintosh Sts, Shepparton.

The accused was seen driving dangerously at several more locations in Shepparton that night with no headlights on.

Leading Sen Const Thomson told the court Baksh was located asleep in the parked car by police and was asked to exit the vehicle, which he refused to do.

Having to be removed by force, Baksh was arrested and remanded in custody until September 3 when he was bailed by the court to enter drug rehabilitation.

With Baksh's time at Yitjawudik Recovery Centre due to finish on December 24 this year, Leading Sen Const Thomson said police were concerned by the accused's lack of regard for community safety and police bail restrictions if he remained out of custody.

“Cars are not toys and roads are not playgrounds,” she said.

“He's had many opportunities and he just continues to do the wrong thing.”

Defence lawyer Luke Slater said the accused was a young man with an intellectual disability.

He said Baksh had strong family support and had been making successful strides in his rehabilitation, which would continue with outreach services when he finished up at the recovery centre.

Magistrate Stella Stuthridge agreed to new bail conditions with restrictions including two police reporting days and a curfew between 10 pm and 6 am unless with staff from Yitjawudik Recovery Centre.

Baksh's driver's licence was disqualified for another 12 months.

He will reappear at Shepparton Magistrates’ Court on February 26, 2020.

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