Clarence Crime generic
Clarence Crime generic

Man faces court for wild police pursuit in stolen ute

A GRAFTON man has been jailed for at least 10 months after he was sentenced for leading police on a dangerous pursuit in a stolen car earlier this year.

David Kenneth Joy, 42, appeared in Grafton Local Court on Tuesday for sentencing after pleading guilty to a range of offences, including police pursuit, take and drive conveyance without consent of owner, drive in dark with no lights, enter dwelling with intent to steal and four charges of assaulting a police officer in execution of their duty.

The court heard that about 1.30am on Sunday, May 3, Joy entered the rear of a Bent St, South Grafton property and broke into a silver Mazda ute and, using a spare key to start the vehicle, drove to Vere Lane.

According to the agreed facts Joy then entered a fenced private property on Bligh St which backs onto Vere Lane and gained access to a storage area located underneath a residential dwelling.

While the occupants of the property were upstairs the court heard Joy rummaged through the occupant's personal belongings and stole a power drill, angle grinder, orbital sander and a vehicle's racing seat totalling $650.

At this time the victim heard the rummaging and turned on a bathroom light, and Joy fled from the location, placing the stolen items into the tray of the stolen ute.

The court heard that at about 1.50am officers from Coffs/Clarence Police District were patrolling the area in an unmarked car and saw the vehicle parked in Vere Lane. The officers noticed a bright light from the lane and as police watched the ute left the lane and almost collided with the police vehicle. As the ute accelerated the rear tyres lost traction and caused the rear of the vehicle to spin out.

Police turned on their lights and sirens, however Joy failed to stop and a pursuit commenced. But as Joy attempted to accelerate a large amount of smoke began to bellow from the exhaust.

In an attempt to evade police Joy then turned off the headlights and began to activate left and right turn signals sporadically.

The court heard the pursuit continued, reaching speeds of up to 80km/h in 50km/h residential areas through Bent St and Joy dangerously drove through a number of roundabouts with no consideration of other road users.

The pursuit continued over the Grafton bridge and into Dovedale where Joy began to swerve his vehicle on the road in an attempt to throw up gravel and debris onto the police vehicle.

Court documents reveal that as police continued to pursue the ute along Breimba St, Joy entered the driveway of a residential address and collided with a fruit tree, before driving into a swimming pool fence and pool shed, causing significant damage.

Police entered the driveway and saw the ute spinning uncontrollably through the back yard of the Dovedale property and stall. Joy tried to start the ute again but as police approached he abandoned the vehicle and fled on foot through a neighbouring property. But as he jumped the fence he landed on a steep decline and fell down a hill.

After a short foot pursuit and struggle with police Joy was detained and arrested. About 1g of marijuana was found in his jacket after he was searched.

Joy was escorted and placed in a police caged vehicle where he kicked out at one of the officers and later refused to undergo a breath test, telling police to "go f--- yourself, I will f---ing kill you".

The court heard Joy was treated for superficial wounds at Grafton Base Hospital where he continued to abuse treating nurses, then taken back to Grafton Police Station.

A few days later on May 6, while in custody at Grafton Correctional Centre, Joy lit some paper in his cell and placed it under the cell door into the common area, causing smoke and fire damage to the cell.

When police spoke to Joy about the fire he said he had "no idea" how it started, then told the police "when I get out of here, I'll kill you".

Joy was also sentenced for three charges of intimidation over a threatening letter sent while remanded in custody to a bank in Grafton following a previous altercation with staff after Joy was caught coughing phlegm onto the ground near an ATM, as well as an altercation with a member of the community over Joy rummaging through a skip bin on their property.

In court magistrate Kathy Crittenden sentenced Joy to an aggregate jail term of 18 months with a non-parole period of 10 months. He will be eligible for release on parole on March 2 next year. For the intimidation charges Joy was sentenced to a two-year community correction order.

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