Damien Russell Janson was out for revenge when he deliberately steered a car into an oncoming motorcyclist and killed an old friend.
He believed he'd been ripped off for $50 when out trying to buy drugs, so he told his friend to follow those he believed were to blame.
They'd already had a confrontation in the car park of a service station in Bacchus Marsh, west of Melbourne.
Janson had pulled out a screwdriver and threatened a group of men. One of them pulled out a knife and told him to f*** off.
As some of the group took off in a car Janson scratched it with a screwdriver. Two men fled on motorbikes. One of them swerved at him, Janson said.
From the passenger seat of his friend's car, with his younger brother in the back seat, Janson tried to track down his supposed antagonists.
He called off the hunt after it became clear they had lost the trail.
But then, by pure chance the two groups crossed paths, driving toward each other in nearby Maddingley.
Supreme Court Justice Liz Hollingworth said on Friday that Janson had reacted immediately and impulsively on the night of May 20 last year.
He grabbed the steering wheel with such force his friend was unable to control the car, and swerved the heavy ute into the path of an oncoming motorcyclist.
The driver had lifted his foot off the accelerator and tried to brake, but they were too close together.
The rider, 23-year-old Jake Smith, was hit. He was thrown over top of the ute and landed nearly 20 metres away in the bush.
His injuries were extensive and, despite resuscitation efforts, they were fatal.
Janson only learned later that his victim was Mr Smith, a man he had been friends with at school.
The ute rolled down a hill and Janson encouraged his friend to keep driving while he steered the car.
He told his friend to report the car stolen and flee the scene. Janson ran into nearby paddocks, leaving his friend and brother behind to face the consequences.
The judge described his actions as selfish and cowardly.
Janson handed himself in to police two days later. He was initially charged with murder but pleaded guilty to manslaughter.
Justice Hollingworth jailed Janson for nine years for his deadly actions.
She said Mr Smith's family had been devastated by his death. Mr Smith's youngest brother had been killed in an accident several years earlier.
Justice Hollingworth said Janson had a long history of criminal offending and drug use.
But while his judgment at the time might have been clouded by his drug use and a lack of sleep, they were not mitigating factors.
He must serve six years before he's eligible for parole.