A drunk driver who had a baby onboard when he ploughed into two pedestrians during a violent road rage attack has been jailed.
Damon Lee Anderson, 28, smashed into the pair as they walked along Hay St, in Perth’s CBD, in August last year.
The victims were thrown into the air by the impact, suffering harm including broken bones and a head injury.
Anderson’s four-wheel drive then crashed into the front of an Asian restaurant, shattering the glass door and tearing through tables and chairs.
He too suffered a broken leg, while his sister, who was a passenger in the car, was also hurt.
The West Australian District Court was told Anderson had an alcohol reading of 0.163 – putting him more than three times the legal limit.
Anderson’s defense counsel argued his client had been scared for his mother, sister, and 13-month-old nephew, noting one of the men had held a butter knife up to the car’s window.
But Judge Andrew Stavrianou said it was Anderson who had started the altercation and at the time of driving into the men he no longer had fear for his family.
“The incident itself was instigated by you. The incident escalated and you should have left it alone when you had the opportunity,” the judge said.
The court was told Anderson had been carrying a box containing beer and made a comment about the two men that led to an argument.
Anderson then produced a 15cm knife from the box and pointed it at them before crossing the road.
A beer fell out of the box and one of the men picked it up, then threw it in Anderson’s direction, causing an injury to his eye socket.
That man then went into a nearby restaurant and armed himself with a butter knife, yelling and stabbing at the driver’s side window of the car.
“You were concerned at that stage about the welfare of the people in the car,” Judge Stavrianou accepted.
The man then dropped the knife and the pair walked away.
It was then that Anderson started the car and did a U-turn in the middle of the road, with the vehicle facing the wrong way down Hay St as he smashed into the men and the restaurant.
The court was told Anderson had been struggling with mental health issues.
He had also avoided a prison sentence just months earlier over a separate incident when he attacked police with a knife.
Anderson, who pleaded guilty to two counts of having attempted to harm doing an act that resulted in bodily harm being caused, was sentenced on Monday to three years and four months in prison.
He must serve at least one year and eight months behind bars before he can be eligible for parole.