DV car chase culprit appeals sentence

A CORINDI Beach man sentenced to two years imprisonment for a "harrowing" domestic violence-related car chase into Grafton may walk free next week, pending the outcome of a district court appeal against the severity of his sentence.

Dwayne Winkler is scheduled to appear in Coffs Harbour District Court next Thursday for the results of an appeal hearing, which was heard in part on December 7.

The 30-year-old has been in jail since his original sentencing in Grafton Local Court in October, over a domestic violence-related charge of stalk and intimidate to cause fear of physical or mental harm, and driving in a dangerous or reckless manner.

The charges related to an incident on the morning of October 6, in which Winkler confronted his wife of four years before he initiated a harrowing car chase from Corindi to Grafton.

"Get back inside": Man jailed for highway chase

The court heard he drove erratically and at times over the speed limit, overtook her car repeatedly and at times followed her vehicle at an extremely close range.

At one point he stood in one lane of the Pacific Highway to make her stop and when a child opened a car window he jumped through it, pulled the handbrake on and took the keys from the ignition.

In sentencing Winkler in October, Magistrate Robyn Denes drew parallels between the case and a highly publicised domestic assault case on the Gold Coast one month prior, which led to the death of young mother Tara Brown.

He was sentenced to two years jail with a non-parole period of 18 months, and it was the severity of this sentence which was the focus of the appeal hearing in December.

As a result, Judge L Wells asked that Winkler be assessed for an Intensive Corrections Order, which if accepted will see him walk out of court this month.

What is an Intensive Corrections Order?

According to the Judicial Commission of News South Wales, only sentences of imprisonment of less than two years can be served by way of an ICO, in the community.

Winkler has also been on a six-month good behaviour bond since November, after he was handed a suspended six-month sentence at Coffs Harbour Local Court for an unrelated charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

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