Road spikes.
Road spikes.

Car thief crashes in police pursuit

GRIPPING the wheel of a stolen Ford Falcon, drug-affected Beau Shepherd kept driving on metal wheel rims despite chunks of car and tyre fragmenting after police used stingers to try to stop him.

The 20-year-old was finally arrested and jailed over Christmas until going before an Ipswich court to be sentenced.

Beau Dylan Shepherd from Blackstone, appeared in the dock of Ipswich Magistrates Court and pleaded guilty to 18 charges including dangerous driving on December 3 at Redbank when affected by an intoxicating substance; unlawful use of a stolen car and evading police on December 3; failing to provide a breath specimen; using false registration plates on October 20; two counts of receiving tainted property; possession of dangerous drugs and drug utensils on October 9; unlicensed driving – never held a licence on October 28; driving unregistered and uninsured motor vehicle on October 28; and attempted fraud between September 15 - 26.

Police prosecutor Ricky Tsoi said although Shepherd was only 20, his growing history was less than enviable. He said the most serious of the new charges was dangerous driving when under the influence of an intoxicating substance, and driving a stolen car.

Mr Tsoi said Shepherd had been sentenced to six months jail in January 2018 for stealing and unlawful use of a motor vehicle with parole release after he served 41 days.

In September 2018, while subject to parole Shepherd was sentenced for unlawful use of a motor vehicle and burglary – receiving a nine month jail term. He served 95 days and was released on parole.

Mr Tsoi said the dangerous driving offence before the court happened at 6am on December 3 when traffic was building with people driving to work.

It included Shepherd driving on the wrong side of the road at speed, a near-miss with a moped rider, and driving the wrong way on a roundabout.

Police deployed stingers but he kept driving until crashing into another car.

“Was the tyre deflation devices used successful. He continued to drive the car at speed and driven on the tyre rims,” inquired magistrate Kurt Fowler.

“Yes,” Mr Tsoi said.

The two front tyres were deflated down to the metal rims with parts of the bumper and ground tyre becoming projectiles into the path of other vehicles.

Police sought a jail term of 15 to 18 months for the dangerous driving charge and 12 months for the unlawful use of a stolen car, and 50 days jail for evading police, with parole release after he serves three months in jail.

Police had earlier tried to intercept it in the car park of Redbank Plaza but Shepherd accelerated away.

The pursuit ended when the Ford collided with a ute and crashed into a concrete barrier.

Defence lawyer Matthew Fairclough said the offences took place after Shepherd suffered a drug relapse.

“He had been doing quite well and out in the community working with his father. Unfortunately he relapsed started using drugs,” he said.

“He expresses regret for his conduct.”

Mr Fowler said his history of unlawful use of stolen cars was “particularly unattractive” and the circumstances frightening driving at speed when attempting to evade police.

“The possibility for you to collide with another motor vehicle or cause serious injury is extraordinary. And in circumstances where you were affected by a substance,” Mr Fowler told Shepherd.

Mr Fowler sentenced Shepherd to 16 months jail for the dangerous driving, and to lesser jail terms. He will be released on parole on March 2.

He was disqualified from driving for nine months, three months, and six months - likely to be cumulative.