Man apologises for Melbourne car jacking

A drug-affected homeless man has apologised in court for dragging an elderly man out of his car.
A drug-affected homeless man has apologised in court for dragging an elderly man out of his car.

A drug-affected homeless man has apologised for dragging an elderly man out of his car onto the ground before driving off in suburban Melbourne.

Jason Mammoliti, 40, pleaded guilty on Tuesday in Melbourne Magistrates Court to an aggravated car jacking in Deer Park, driving while disqualified and failing to report an accident on June 2 last year.

Mammoliti opened the door of an idling Toyota Camry, unbuckled the 84-year-old and pulled him to the ground, where his hearing aid fell out, before driving away and later crashing, the court heard.

Prosecutor Jonathan Manning told the court the victim Brian Ritchie, lay on the ground for about two minutes before a stranger stopped to help.

He suffered injuries to his knee, finger and leg.

Mammoliti apologised to the victim in a statement read to the court.

"I know what I did was wrong, I think about it everyday. If I could do anything to take it back I would in a heartbeat."

He drove for about 45 minutes before he hit a barrier in Sunshine the same day, cracking the windscreen and forcing the airbags to deploy.

He did not report it to police, and the car was later towed away.

He takes 40 milligrams of methadone each day, the court was told.

Prior to the attack, Mammoliti had been seen walking with a limp looking into an empty vehicle nearby about 11.45am.

Mammoliti, who was on a community corrections order, refused to give police his real name when he was arrested on June 19.

"Mr Mammoliti committed an impulsive, spontaneous and opportunistic offence," his defence Erin Byrt told the court.

"It seems to be a panicked response to Mr Mammoliti's situation."

His life has been riddled with long-term homelessness, crime and drug use taking heroin, cannabis, meth and prescription drugs, Ms Byrt said, adding he met the criteria for having post-traumatic stress disorder.

He was emotionally and physically abused as a child and his grandparents' deaths led him to him take up drinking and drugs, the court was told.

He has been remanded to appear for sentencing on February 1.

Australian Associated Press