SYDNEY, March 22 (Xinhua) -- An Australian driver who killed a teenage pedestrian was arrested and released by police twice the day before the fatal incident, a court has been told.
Steven Vasilevski, 35, was sentenced to nine years and seven months imprisonment for a fatal crash and drug-fuelled crime spree in Melbourne's western suburbs.
Vasilevski killed 17-year-old Anthony Nguyen and left his friend Jasmine Vuong permanently injured when he drove through a red light at speed in January 2015.
In sentencing Vasilevski, County Court Judge Carolyn Douglas detailed the 28-hour crime spree that saw the man arrested twice, released both times without charges, before the fatal crash.
Douglas said that Vasilevski was arrested the night before the crash after driving erratically around the western suburbs, narrowly missing a 19-year-old woman at a pedestrian crossing.
On the way to the police station the man asked police officers if they could stop so he could buy drugs and later refused a drug test.
Police released him without charges before he was arrested again hours later for stealing a forklift, an incident he was again released for without charges hours before he killed Nguyen.
Judge Douglas said his behavior was callous and despicable.
"Not only did you not stop (after hitting the teenagers), you didn't contact anyone... you just went home," Douglas told Vasilevski.
Police arrested Vasilevski days after the crash and charged him with culpable driving, a charge that was later reduced to dangerous driving causing death.
Detective Acting Sergeant Trevor Collins told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) that police had no power to detain drivers affected by drugs or alcohol such as Vasilevski was when arrested both times before the crash.
"We know what their level of affectedness is, yet they're released pretty much from custody straight away to then go in amongst the community again," Collins said.
"We don't have the power to do anything about it."