TEENAGE DRIVER REFUSED BAIL
POLICE SAY ALLEGED OFFENCES MAKE 17-YEAR-OLD BOY AN UNACCEPTABLE RISK TO THE COMMUNITY
A teenager drove at 123 km/h past a school at school pick-up time and narrowly missed hitting a woman and child as he sped through Shepparton’s Maude St Mall in a stolen car while being chased by police on Tuesday, a court has heard.
The 17-year-old Shepparton boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was refused bail in a Children’s Court yesterday.
The boy faces charges including dangerous driving while pursued by police, two counts of reckless conduct endangering serious injury, driving at a dangerous speed, two counts of theft of a vehicle, trespassing with intent to steal, theft, and driving without a licence.
Police officer Detective Senior Constable Shaun-Marie Brock told the court the boy and three coaccused stole a silver Ford Falcon from a Shepparton business in Doyles Rd at 2.15 am on October 11.
At 2 pm the next day police received calls about the car being driven erratically on Midland Hwy, Mooroopna.
Police allege there is Snapchat footage showing the car being driven by the boy across Peter RossEdwards causeway between Mooroopna and Shepparton at 180 km/h.
The court heard when police spotted the car later on Goulburn Valley Hwy near Union Rd at Kialla West, one of the rear wheels had no tyre.
Police activated their lights and sirens and started a pursuit.
Police allege the car, with four people in it, was driven through the 40 km/h school zone outside Kialla West Primary School at 123 km/h at school pick-up time. The car then passed a B-double truck at speed on its left-hand side to avoid police, the officer said.
Police watched and maintained a distance as the vehicle allegedly passed several cars on the left-hand side, before driving through a red light at Wilmot Rd in Shepparton.
The car then wove through Hayes, Maude, Sobraon, Corio and Vaughan Sts, before coming back onto Maude St near K mart, forcing other motorists to move to the right as it came through.
It then travelled through Maude St Mall at speed, narrowly avoiding a woman and a child, before the pursuit ended as the car emerged out the Fryers St end of the mall, Det Sen Constable Brock said.
The vehicle was found dumped near the corner of Numurkah Rd and Kilpatrick Ave and a male and two girls, were seen running from the vehicle, the court heard.
Police allege at 5.30 pm the boy was driving a Ford Falcon that had been stolen from Hillborough Ave in Shepparton two hours earlier, when he did a petrol drive-off at the Liberty service station in Shepparton.
The boy was arrested in Wodonga at 9.25 pm.
Det Sen Constable Brock told the court police opposed bail because the alleged offences occurred while the boy was on a Youth Supervision Order. They also said he was an unacceptable risk to the community.
The boy’s defence solicitor said the boy’s low IQ, and the fact there was bail support available through Youth Justice were among reasons to grant him bail. She also argued that if he were not bailed, the boy may spend more time in custody than he would if found guilty of the charges.
In refusing bail, the magistrate described the alleged driving offences as “exceptionally serious” and said the boy had “placed numerous people at serious risk”.
“I don’t think I’ve seen more serious driving that hasn’t resulted in serious injury or a fatality,” he said.
He also referenced the fact the boy had appeared in court five times this year already, including ones for reckless conduct endangering life and dangerous driving while being pursued by police.
“I can’t put the community at risk from this young man who has no regard for the safety of others,” the magistrate said.