Fatal Vic crash driver lied about licence

Joshua Lewis has pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing the death of girlfriend Georgia Larsen.
Joshua Lewis has pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing the death of girlfriend Georgia Larsen.

A learner driver lied about having his P-plates before crashing a borrowed car into a tree, killing his 15-year-old girlfriend, in regional Victoria.

Joshua Lewis, now 19, has pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing the death of his passenger, Georgia Larsen, when he veered off the road at Longwarry on February 21, 2018.

Georgia's mother, Tracey, on Friday told Victoria's County Court her daughter would never have got in the car if she knew Lewis was only a learner.

"We trusted Joshua ... why would he lie to us?" Mrs Larsen said.

"Georgia was taken away from me by a selfish act."

Mrs Larsen said life without her youngest child was a "nightmare".

"To this day, I can't comprehend what happened to my girl and I'm still waiting for her to come home."

Georgia's father said his soul "has been destroyed, my heart is broken in a million pieces".

"It's a father's responsibility to look after his girls. I failed," Shannon Larsen said.

Lewis, 18 at the time, had been due to sit his driving test the day before crashing the car on loan from his-then employer, who also thought he was a P-plater.

Another previous test had not gone ahead, but Lewis claimed he was qualified to drive.

Lewis' barrister, Patrick Kelly, said it was unclear why his client lied.

"I've tried to ask him why he did this and it's difficult for him to explain," Mr Kelly said.

The barrister accepted Lewis faced jail, but asked Judge Mark Gamble to sentence him to youth detention instead of an adult prison because he was psychologically vulnerable.

Lewis was depressed, had suicidal thoughts and thought about the accident all the time, Mr Kelly said.

"He feels he needs to be punished for this offence."

Lewis admitted to driving without L-plates or a supervising driver on day of the crash, and was fined for unlicensed driving the month before.

Judge Gamble said the young man got behind the wheel "for selfish reasons".

"There was no need for him to drive. He knew it was illegal. He was told by police it was illegal," he said.

The judge ordered Lewis be assessed to see if he's suitable for a youth detention facility.

He is on bail and expected to return to court for a further plea on July 9, before sentencing on July 31.

Australian Associated Press