Vic woman jailed for ice-fuelled hit-run

Angus Livingston
Vic woman jailed over ice hit and run

Christian Ashby was out for a morning bike ride when an ice-affected woman veered on to the wrong side of a Ballarat road, hitting him head on and leaving him for dead.

He lay bleeding on the dark road while Rebekah Stewart fled home to take the bonnet off her car and hide the vehicle under a tarpaulin.

After 10 major operations for his "horrific" injuries, Mr Ashby was in court on Monday to see Stewart sentenced to six years' jail.

"During plea, the word 'catastrophe' was used. It is a most apt word to describe the consequences of this accident in regard to all parties involved," judge Michael McInerney said on Monday.

He sentenced Stewart in the Victorian County Court in Ballarat, not far from where she hit Mr Ashby in Wendouree on March 25, 2016, after she pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing serious injury and failing to stop.

Stewart had been consuming the drug ice the night before she hit Mr Ashby.

"There appears to be no other explanation (for the crash) but the fact of her consumption of ice during that night," Judge McInerney said.

"Failing to stop in these circumstances is a despicable and cowardly act."

Stewart tried to hide the damage to her car and later fled to Melbourne after her friends told her to hand herself in.

Judge Stewart said the crash had devastated Mr Ashby and his family, but he was recovering with support.

"While Mr Ashby was close to death on a number of occasions, he has realistically accepted the joys of being alive to enjoy his life," Judge McInerney said.

Stewart had previous convictions for careless driving and drink driving.

"It gives the court no joy to send a young woman of the age of 24 years to jail, however ... there is no alternative," Judge McInerney said.

She was given a non-parole period of four years.