Shepparton News

Eight months’ jail for a swag of charges

- By Monique Preston

A man has been jailed for eight months on a swag of charges after incidents including an assault on his sister, driving dangerousl­y while being pursued by police and stealing two cars.

Apollo Anthony Collinson, 25, pleaded guilty in Shepparton Magistrate­s’ Court to 29 charges including dangerous driving while pursued by police, failing to stop on police direction, two counts of theft of a vehicle, seven counts of driving while he did not have a licence, resisting an emergency worker, drug driving, drink driving, and failing to produce a licence on request.

Collinson, who lived in both Shepparton and Grahamvale when the offences occurred, also pleaded guilty to unlawful assault, criminal damage, four counts of contraveni­ng a bail condition, three counts of committing an indictable offence while on bail, theft, two counts of possessing drugs and two of using cannabis.

Prosecutor Sergeant Jo Allen told the court police activated their lights and sirens after Collinson failed to stop in Wyndham St, Shepparton, at 1.57 am on May 4 last year.

During a police chase, Collinson, who has never had a driver’s licence, drove on the wrong side of the road in two different streets.

When Collinson was found shortly afterwards he had 1.44 g of cannabis on him, while he had hidden another 5.91 g of cannabis behind a unit, Sgt Allen said.

When interviewe­d by police Collinson told them “the police usually back off if you drive stupid”, Sgt Allen said.

In a separate incident on February 18, 2019, Collinson gave police a false name when pulled over while driving in Shepparton.

He was also found to be unlicensed and driving with methamphet­amines in his system.

The court also heard that on June 10 last year police stopped Collinson driving on a track off Evergreen Way in Shepparton.

He had 5.69 g of cannabis on him and told police at the time he was driving to “get the car somewhere more secure”, Sgt Allen said.

The court was told that in the most recent incident, on June 15 this year, Collinson had to be capsicum sprayed after he refused to get out of a stolen Volkswagen hatch in bushland off the Boulevard in Shepparton.

The car had been stolen from Broken River Dve about 10 days earlier and had also been used in a petrol drive-off at Kialla.

Collinson told police he knew the vehicle had been stolen and he had been driving it “on-and-off”, Sgt Allen said.

The court heard on February 13 this year, Collinson had been drinking when he punched and kicked two holes in the wall of a friend’s house.

Sgt Allen said Collinson then sat on his sister on a bed and repeatedly slammed her head into the mattress as other people tried to pull him off her.

Later he strangled his sister and then threw her into a wall, Sgt Allen said.

About half-an-hour later Collinson crashed a stolen car into a tree between Gum Rd and Banks Place in Shepparton.

When breath-tested, he recorded a blood alcohol concentrat­ion reading of 0.170.

In a police interview Collinson said he had drank “about three slabs” and was so drunk he couldn’t recall the assault on his sister, Sgt Allen said.

Collinson’s solicitor Anthony Coote told the court his client, who is originally from New Zealand, struggled with methamphet­amine and cannabis use and had been involved in drugs for the past 10 years.

He suggested a combinatio­n sentence of both prison and a community correction­s order to try to get him off drugs.

Magistrate Peter Mithen sentenced Collinson to eight months’ prison, with the 65 days of presentenc­e detention reckoned as time served.

He also ordered Collinson be placed on a 12-month community correction­s order, which will include treatment and rehabilita­tion for drug, alcohol and mental health issues, and fined him $1000.

He also disqualifi­ed Collinson from driving for a further 34 months.

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