'Come play in the water': Man taunted cops during wild chase
A MAN who took a stolen car on a joyride through a North Coast golf course and set it on fire, then led police on a wild chase through a river to an island, a court has heard.
After a gruelling bushland search involving the police chopper earlier this year, a police dog tracked down Bradley John Campbell hiding in an abandoned boogie board case.
The 28-year-old faced Tweed Heads Court by videolink from Cessnock Correctional Centre on Monday to plead guilty to destroy property in company use fire and drive conveyance taken without the consent of owner.
Co-accused Samuel Crouche, 28, had pleaded not guilty to being carried in conveyance taken without the consent of owner.
Zye Allen, 19, is yet to enter pleas to be carried in conveyance taken without consent of owner and destroying property in company use fire.
A 17-year-old girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was also charged with aggravated break and enter, carried in conveyance, four counts of possess prohibited drug, and possession of a knife.
Police facts tendered in court reveal Campbell was driving a gold Holden Commodore, which had been stolen from a home in Winders Place, Banora Point, when the car became bogged on the eastern side of the Tweed Heads Coolangatta Golf Course on the morning of April 28.
The Tweed Heads man was not involved in stealing the car.
The car had been reported to police as speeding in a dangerous manner along Alf Rush Memorial Drive running parallel to the Tweed River about 8am.
A man on his boat allegedly took mobile phone footage of the four co-accused getting out of the car when it became stuck on a large rock on the golf course.
Campbell can be seen on the video placing something like a lighter in the car's fuel tank to ignite flames.
It is alleged, when the four co-accused were approached by golf course staff, they ran off in a northerly direction.
It is alleged the slowest of them, Mr Crouche, was caught and handcuffed as he was breathing heavily and told police he did not want to run anymore.
The 17-year-old girl allegedly ran east by herself and was picked up by more general duties officers.
Police allege when Campbell and Mr Allen were cornered at the water's edge near Ukerebagh passage, they went into the water and waded through the mangroves to Ukerebagh Island.
Campbell taunted police, yelling "come in the water and play".
It is alleged Mr Allen was exhausted and was eventually dragged back to shore by an officer after sitting down in the mud.
Queensland Police's helicopter, as well as the dog squad, were called in to help with the search for Campbell about 9.20am.
He had run off into bushland.
Police dog Yogi lead his handler and another officer through thick bushland, mud and water, following Campbell's tracks.
Eventually, Yogi led the searchers to an open-grassed area and indicated there was something near an old boogie bag on the ground.
When the Campbell did not respond to calls, an officer bent down to open the boogie bag.
Campbell exploded out of the bag and started screaming and violently thrashing his arms at the officer.
Yogi attached himself to one of Campbell's arms before Campbell was subdued and arrested.
It was clear to police, Campbell was intoxicated by something.
Defence solicitor Cameron Bell said his client had been in custody "a fair bit of his adult life" but had been doing well without parole orders for 10 months prior to the offending.
He said Campbell had used his time in custody wisely and had completed several certificates since April.
A letter from his chaplain was also tendered.
The court heard Campbell left school in Year 9 for a spray painting apprenticeship and was such a good worker, every time he was out of custody, he was offered his old job back.
Mr Bell said Campbell's record began when his father passed away in 2012 and left a big hole in his life, which he tried to fill with drugs leading to his offending.
Mr Bell explained the offence occurred just after Campbell had been stood down from his work due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Magistrate Geoff Dunlevy convicted and sentenced Campbell to an aggregate prison sentence of 15 months with a non parole period of seven months back dated to April 28.
He will be eligible for parole on November 27.
Mr Crouche will have his case heard in a hearing on March 11, 2021.
Mr Allen's case will next appear in court on December 9.
The 17-year-old will be dealt with under the Children's Court.