Car thief who fled po­lice jailed

Joondalup Weekender - - News - Mark Don­ald­son

A YOUNG man who led po­lice on a high-speed chase of up to 160km/h in the north­ern sub­urbs in a stolen car has been sen­tenced to 15 months in jail.

Luke Gall (22) faced Joon­dalup Mag­is­trates Court via video link from Hakea Prison yes­ter­day, plead­ing guilty to four charges re­lat­ing to his theft of a white Range Rover from a woman while she was speak­ing on her phone at Bel­mont Race­course on Fe­bru­ary 22.

The court heard the vic­tim had pulled over at the race­course about 6.50pm and got out of the car to use her phone.

Gall was rid­ing past on a bike at the time and saw an op­por­tu­nity to steal the ve­hi­cle.

The of­fender was seen by po­lice driv­ing the car on Main Street in Os­borne Park at 11pm.

He re­fused to stop, prompt­ing a sig­nif­i­cant re­sponse in­volv­ing the po­lice he­li­copter as Gall and three pas­sen­gers tried to evade of­fi­cers through mul­ti­ple sub­urbs in­clud­ing Bal­catta, Lands­dale and Made­ley.

The po­lice pros­e­cu­tor said Gall was driv­ing up to 160km/h, did not stop at traf­fic lights and trav­elled on to the wrong side of the road dur­ing the chase.

He aban­doned the car when it ran out of fuel on Hep­burn Av­enue in Made­ley. Po­lice de­tained him at a sports club.

They also took the pas­sen­gers in for ques­tion­ing.

Gall apol­o­gised to po­lice when he was given the op­por­tu­nity to speak in court.

He said he had a drug habit at the time of the of­fence, which led to him turn­ing to crime.

“Sorry to the po­lice force for putting them in dan­ger,” he said.

Gall claimed he had an im­proved out­look on life since be­ing in cus­tody af­ter the in­ci­dent.

“Since I’ve come in here, I’ve re­alised it’s stupid,” he said. “I’m slowly tak­ing steps to change.”

He said he was with a supportive girl­friend and had been do­ing his “best” to change.

Mag­is­trate Gre­gory Benn re­sponded by say­ing: “If that’s your best, I would hate to see what your worst is Mr Gall.”

He said it was “very for­tu­nate” that the high-speed chase did not re­sult in any­one be­ing killed.

Gall had a lengthy crim­i­nal record.

“It shows an on­go­ing dis­re­gard for peo­ple and the law,” he said.

Mr Benn sen­tenced Gall to eight months’ prison for the ve­hi­cle theft and seven months prison for reck­less driv­ing to es­cape po­lice. Those sen­tences were to be served cu­mu­la­tively.

He was sen­tenced to eight months prison for driv­ing reck­lessly af­ter steal­ing a car and six months jail for fail­ing to stop.

Those sen­tences were to be served con­cur­rently. He was made el­i­gi­ble for pa­role.

Pic­ture: Face­book

Luke Gall.

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