‘I screwed up’: Repeat offender’s letter to magistrate
DISQUALIFIED driver Levi Van Wezel admitted he simply 'screwed up' in an upfront letter written to an Ipswich magistrate following two police pursuits.
Levi Marc Van Wezel, 24, from Rosewood, appeared from jail via video link to plead guilty in Ipswich Magistrates Court to seven charges dating back to last October.
Charges included two counts of dangerous driving, two counts of disqualified driving, two counts of evading police, and driving with false plates.
Police prosecutor Jack Scott said Van Wezel committed three of the offences on October 22 last year when he drove dangerously, and evaded police while disqualified.
The other charges related to offences he committed four days later on October 26.
Van Wezel was arrested and spent 159 days in pre-sentence custody.
Magistrate Virginia Sturgess said the court had received a letter from Van Wezel saying "he'd screwed up".
"It is sad to see a young man throw away his life. These should be your best years and not spent in jail," she said.
Defence lawyer Matthew Fairclough said Van Wezel's young age was in his favour.
He said Van Wezel was sentenced to 12 months jail in March 2018, was granted parole and stayed out of trouble for a while after his release.
"He avoided illicit substances and says things were going well for him," Mr Fairclough said.
"His comments in his letter show insight and remorse at his offending."
Ms Sturgess put the police facts on the record, saying police saw Van Wezel drive off from the Prince Alfred Hotel at 1.55am on October 22 and they tried to intercept him.
He evaded police and was seen driving down Brisbane Road at Booval for 200m on the wrong side of the road.
His speed was noted at between 80 and 100km/h.
Then at 7.30pm on October 26 the Polair helicopter saw a blue Mazda in Raceview being driven on the wrong side of a road then cross at speed through a red light.
Van Wezel was arrested some hours later.
Ms Sturgess said it was fortunate no one was hurt, with Van Wezel never having held a licence.
She said he had nine previous convictions for driving when disqualified and had been sentenced to 12-month jail term in 2018. He had been disqualified from obtaining a licence for three years until February 2021.
He also had three prior convictions for failing to stop for police in 2014, 2016 and 2017, Ms Sturgess noting his "significant" convictions for unlawful use of stolen cars.
"You are a person clearly a danger to be out on the roads. It is completely unacceptable to be out on the roads driving in these circumstances," she said.
Taking into account his growing history Ms Sturgess sentenced him to 21 months jail for the dangerous driving offences, and 15 months jail for the driving when disqualified charges.
He received four months jail for evading police.
With time already spent in jail Van Wezel will be released to parole on May 26.
He was disqualified from obtaining a licence for another three years.