The woman did not remember driving a Toyota hatchback at police.
The woman did not remember driving a Toyota hatchback at police. Kevin Farmer

Rampage ends in man throwing suitcase at police, fleeing

AN Ipswich woman has been released from jail after serving more than two months jail time for a range of offences including evading police in a stolen car, and stealing from a Bunnings hardware store.

Ipswich Magistrates Court heard she spent 83 days in custody before being sentenced. And had spent the time working in the jail's kitchen.

Kristie-Lee Zernike, 26, appeared in the dock for sentence - pleading guilty to two dozen charges that include dangerous operation of a motor vehicle on July 7; evading police; unlawful use of a motor vehicle; two counts of possession of dangerous drugs; six counts of stealing; unlawful possession of controlled drugs; two counts of having restricted drugs; possession of tainted property; possession of property used in drug offences; and breach of bail.

Prosecutor Acting Sergeant Bernard Elmore said Zernike was subject to a suspended jail sentence at the time of her recent offences.

Details of her previous offending included police getting a triple-0 call on June 20 last year to report a burglary and the theft of a Ford sedan.

The Ford was seen in Goodna the next day and tracked by Polair from the Riverlink shopping centre carpark in North Ipswich.

Sgt Elmore said Zernike was with its male driver when he phoned police saying stop pursuing him or he would deliberately crash the car and its occupants would die.

He said the driver had since been sentenced to 18 months jail and Zernike eight months (suspended). Police sought for that sentence to be activated.

Sgt Elmore said the new unlawful use charge before the court was similar. He said Zernike would likely benefit by being subject to a lengthy probation order.

Police sought a nine month jail term for her dangerous driving offence - to be cumulative to the prior jail term.

Defence lawyer Yassar Khan said the dangerous driving and failing to stop for police were the most serious charges Zernike faced.

"Although her fingerprint was found inside on the door she has no memory of the incident. She accepts it," Mr Khan said.

"Significant credit should be given to her given she has no memory of being inside the car and she has co-operated with police."

He conceded that her stealing of a shower from a Bunnings store was done when on parole.

Mr Khan said Zernike was living at a house that had "a decrepit shower spraying water and leaking water everywhere". When it couldn't be fixed she and a male friend went to Bunnings.

Mr Khan said she had a sense of panic that took over and Zernike was unable to stop for police when her co-accused yelled at her to run - and the situation snowballed.

He said Zernike was raised by her grandfather and instructs that she began using amphetamines after his death.

Mr Khan said her 83 days now spent in jail had made an impact and been a circuit-breaker with Zernike indicating she did not want to return to her previous bad behaviours.

Magistrate Donna MacCallum put police facts on the record, saying police saw Zernike at Riverlink shopping centre on Sunday July 7 and arrested a male, Tatimu Waikato who was with her.

Waikato threw a suitcase at police and ran off, then screamed out run to her to run.

Ms MacCallum said Zernike (driving a Toyota hatch) sped toward police - forcing them to move behind a police car to avoid being hit.

The police car pursued the car in North Ipswich with sirens and flashing lights but Zernike sped away.

She ran red lights, gone into wrong lanes and driven at speed on Smith St and Pine Mt Rd.

On the wrong side of the road on a blind hill she caused oncoming drivers to swerve out of the way and again ran red lights.

Ms MacCallum said it was dangerous and if a head-on collision occurred Zernike would be in jail on more serious charges.

"When it puts the lives of others at risk that is where it becomes everyone's business," Ms MacCallum said.

Zernike was sentenced to six months jail for dangerous driving, and 50 days jail for evading police.

The previous suspended sentence of eight months jail handed down in January was activated - making a total cumulative sentence of 14 months.

With 83 days in custody Zernike was granted immediate parole. Her driver's licence disqualified for two years.