Bid on fatal crash charge fails
A DRIVER charged with causing a mate’s death has failed in his bid to have any potential jail time slashed in half.
Lambros Megarhiotis does not dispute that he is to blame for the senseless death of Matthew Vassilakis on February 17 last year.
Mr Megarhiotis was speeding at least double the 50kmh limit when he crashed into a pole in a quiet Clarinda street.
But he says that only makes him guilty of dangerous driving causing death, not the more serious culpable driving.
Dangerous driving causing death carries a maximum penalty of 10 years’ imprisonment — half that of culpable driving.
Mr Megarhiotis tried in vain yesterday to have the more serious charge thrown out of court at a short preliminary hearing.
He argued that despite speeding, he wasn’t drunk, hadn’t used drugs and wasn’t on his phone.
His lawyer told the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court a jury properly instructed couldn’t find him guilty of the more serious charge.
Magistrate Johanna Metcalf disagreed, and committed Mr Megarhiotis to trial in the County Court on both charges. He has pleaded not guilty.