Remanded in custody over rider murder

A 31-year-old man has been remanded in custody over a murder charge after the ute he was travelling in hit and killed motorcyclist Jake Smith (above), 24, of Werribee.

Damien Janson of Petland Hills appeared in Ballarat Magistrates Court yesterday (25 May 2020) where he was remanded to reappear again via video link for committal mention on 29 October 2020.

No application was made for bail, so he will remain in custody for the next five months.

Victoria’s homicide squad charged Janson two days after the crash that killed Jake about 7.15pm, at Bacchus Marsh, Victoria, last Wednesday (20 May 2020).

Police believe Jake may have known the people in the ute.

The 36-year-old male driver of the ute continued on for about a kilometre before pulling up and remaining at the scene with one of his passengers, a 28-year-old man.

It is alleged Janson, who was also a passenger, fled on foot.

He turned himself into police the next afternoon and was charged with one count of murder.

The driver and the other passenger were arrested on the night of the incident but have been released as investigations continue.

Anyone with information or with dashcam footage is urged to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

The ABC reports that Jake’s family and friends were present in the court, and as the defendant was escorted out, the deceased Werribee man’s step-mother yelled “rat”.

In another tragic twist, Jake’s 15-year-old brother died in similar circumstances in 2013, when his mini motorbike collided with a car in Werribee.

Appeal for dashcam vision

In another incident, NSW Police are appealing for information after a crash between a car and motorbike on Hoxton Park Road, Cartwright, in Sydney’s west, about 1.40pm on Monday (25 May 2020).

The rider, a 19-year-old man, was taken to Liverpool Hospital where he will undergo surgery.

The driver of the Nissan Skyline, a 24-year-old man, was not injured.

Liverpool Police Area Command officers would like to speak with any motorists who may have witnessed the incident or may have dashcam footage from the area.

Anyone with information about this incident is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report crime via NSW Police social media pages.


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