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No jail for road-rager who chased student for 10km, then punched her

Burke was convicted and ordered to serve a 24-month community corrections order, with 300 hours of community service and to engage in programs to assist his rehabilitation.

He was also fined $500 for possessing cannabis and box cutters.

Prosecutor Rabea Khan had earlier told Melbourne Magistrates Court the offending was serious and the victim had been left with “ongoing mental harm”.

Burke followed his victim on the road for about 10 kilometres, driving erratically and slamming on the brakes forcing her to stop in a 100km/h zone before the incident, Ms Khan said in pushing for a jail sentence.

Burke’s lawyer argued he should be spared jail because he was in the midst of a “depressive episode” at the time of the attack.

“His mental illness may have exacerbated his offending,” barrister J. J. Jassar told the court.

Burke had repeatedly shown remorse, pleaded guilty at an early stage, was a young offender and a community corrections order would suffice as punishment, he said.

“He is of good character and has had no prior violent behaviour at all,” Mr Jassar said.

The lawyer also tried to argue the injuries sustained by the victim were on the “lower end” of the spectrum.

However, Ms Metcalf disagreed.

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“The major aspects of the injury have resolved but it’s still something that aches … there’s still numbness around the eye,” Ms Metcalf said.

“I’m not sure I agree it’s at the lower end of injury,” she said.

AAP

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