A Horsham teenager who allegedly assaulted and threatened an innocent driver with a knife has been released from custody amid fears that imprisonment would only have "negative outcomes".
Ethan Leese, 18, appeared in Horsham Magistrates Court on Monday via video-link, charged with assault, assault with a weapon, criminal damage and various breaches of his bail conditions.
The court heard on December 29 last year, the accused walked into the middle of Urquhart Street, Horsham, forcing an oncoming driver to slam on their brakes.
In reading a summary of events, police prosecutor Rebekah Caccaviello said the driver left their vehicle in shock, and confronted the accused, shouting "what the f*** are you doing".
It's alleged the accused shoved the victim twice, before grabbing them by the shirt and tearing it.
Police allege the accused then took a knife out of his back pocket and wielded it at the driver, without extending the blade. The knife was never found.
The court heard the driver put their hands in the air, and said "I don't want to die", while attempting to walk away.
Police say three unidentified women were nearby and came between the victim and the accused to resolve the incident.
"That fellow was just driving down the road and has nearly run you over. He got out of the car because he was in shock and you've pulled a knife on him."Magistrate Simon Zebrowski
Defence lawyer Nick Graham said the accused had a history of drug use and was "coming down" at the time of the incident.
"My client will readily admit that most of his offending has been while under the influence of drugs," Mr Graham said.
"He said that he was coming down at the time, and he wasn't in a good place.
"He has no recollection of it but recognises the offence."
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In May this year, the accused failed to report to police under of the conditions of his bail on three occasions, before he was identified walking in Horsham's centre a week later.
On May 20, the accused was seen on Wilson Street, where once aggravated it's alleged he smashed a glass window of Cellarbrations.
Police say the accused then walked to Horsham Plaza, where CCTV shows him getting into an argument before later breaking a glass door.
The accused was arrested the next day and had spent 39 days in custody in Melbourne before his hearing.
Mr Graham said the accused suffered a traumatic upbringing and had since sought help to address drug and alcohol issues.
Magistrate Simon Zebrowski told the accused his youth and personal circumstances had saved him from a tougher sentence, but urged him to take responsibility for his life.
"If he was a person with a different situation and was older he would be looking at a long term of imprisonment," Mr Zebrowski said.
"That fellow was just driving down the road and has nearly run you over. He got out of the car because he was in shock and you've pulled a knife on him.
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"You've had all sorts of hurdles in your life but you can't rely on that any longer. You have to take responsibility for your life.
"If you keep behaving this way you have to get used to the fact that adult custody will be the case. If you come back before me on something like this you'll give me no choice."
The accused was sentenced to 39 days custody, with time served, for the assault, criminal damage and breach of bail charges and ordered to pay $1160 to cover damages to Cellarbrations and Horsham Plaza.
He will appear again at Horsham Magistrates Court on the assault with a weapon charge in July, after he is assessed for a justice plan.
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