High speed pursuit and jail poor start to a 'new life'
INSTEAD of starting a new life in Queensland, two men at the centre of a high-speed chase, which ended in South Grafton earlier this month, are now in jail.
Jacob David Perger, 22, and Lesley James Catt, 23, both of Sydney, pleaded guilty to all offences when they fronted Grafton Local Court yesterday.
Their solicitor, John Kelly, told the court the pair, who had just been released from jail on parole, were heading north to start a new life in Queensland.
Unfortunately they had not given up their old life as they were driving a stolen car and Perger was driving while disqualified, while Catt was found in possession of two large-bladed knives.
The pair were spotted in a grey Kia Optima, reported stolen in Sydney, just north of Coffs Harbour and police initiated a pursuit when it turned onto Solitary Island Way.
The car reached speeds of 160km/h in an 80km/h zone at Sapphire Beach, before police terminated the pursuit.
Police were trying to set up road spikes on the Pacific Highway after police began a second pursuit at Glenugie.
This was terminated due to safety concerns after the vehicle hit 170km/h in a 110km/h zone.
General duties police were alerted and found the vehicle soon after in Heber St, South Grafton.
Three people were seen near the car and after a chase the two men and a woman were arrested. The woman was released later, without charge.
Mr Kelly said Perger was on bail for an offence committed in Burwood and was only just out of jail.
He said there were issues around his bail conditions because his girlfriend was ill.
He also claimed his client failed to stop for police because he had been bashed when arrested previously and these memories created "flashbacks", which while not an excuse, gave insight to his state of mind.
The police prosecutor opposed any leniency.
He said the offences were similar to previous offences he had committed.
Magistrate Jeff Linden sentenced Perger to 18 months jail, dating from January 8, with a non-parole period of seven months.
The co-accused, Catt, was given a one month jail term from January 8 on the knife possession charge.
The police prosecutor urged he received jail time because the knife offence was serious.
"Most times officers are confronted with knives concealed in a pocket," he said.
"In this instance they found a man with two large bladed knives in the front of his pants.
"A custodial sentence is the only option give his recent history."