JAIL TIME: Billy Michael Armitage has been imprisoned over high- speed police pursuits and other offences.
JAIL TIME: Billy Michael Armitage has been imprisoned over high- speed police pursuits and other offences.

Thank god this man is off our streets

A MAN who fled from police at high speeds with his partner and her young children in his car will spend years behind bars.

Billy Michael Armitage, from Tallai in Queensland, showed little emotion as his sentence was handed down in Lismore District Court on Thursday.

The 26-year-old had earlier pleaded guilty to two counts of engaging in a police pursuit, using a carriage service to threaten to kill, using an offensive weapon to prevent lawful detention, assaulting police and resisting police over the 2018 incident.

 

'TERRIFYING' RAMPAGE: Billy Michael Armitage (left), 26, will spend years in prison after a dramatic series of pursuits in which he rammed three police cars (above).
'TERRIFYING' RAMPAGE: Billy Michael Armitage (left), 26, will spend years in prison after a dramatic series of pursuits in which he rammed three police cars (above).

The court heard police first engaged with Armitage after seeing the Ford Ranger he and his 30-year-old partner were travelling in outside Domino's Pizza in Ballina about 10.45pm on October 11.

A notice had been issued to local police after the vehicle was stolen from a Queensland address the day before.

Armitage fled, driving the Ford at 100km/h in a 50km/h zone before overtaking a semi-trailer on double lines and entering the Pacific Highway, where he proceeded north in a southbound lane.

 

Billy Michael Armitage, 26, will spend years in prison after a dramatic series of pursuits in which he rammed three police cars.
Billy Michael Armitage, 26, will spend years in prison after a dramatic series of pursuits in which he rammed three police cars.

Police terminated this pursuit about 10.54pm.

While being pursued, Armitage and his partner phoned 000 and he made threats to police, warning he had guns in the car.

The court heard Armitage told the operator the two children in the car, aged seven and eight, were "in considerable danger" and he threatened to "smack the next f***ing pole".

Police saw the car again at Leycester about 12.30am on October 12 and an officer told him "It doesn't have to be this way", before he sped off again.

 

Billy Michael Armitage, 26, will spend years in prison after a dramatic series of pursuits in which he rammed three police cars.
Billy Michael Armitage, 26, will spend years in prison after a dramatic series of pursuits in which he rammed three police cars.

Road spikes were deployed at various locations near Kyogle and Casino and Armitage eventually stopped on Summerland Way. He then rammed three police cars, causing "extensive damage" and narrowly missing one officer, before being arrested.

Defence barrister Russell Pearce told the court his client had spent a significant portion of his young life in custody and had "dysfunctionality in his background".

The Crown prosecutor argued there was an "ongoing course of conduct" in which Armitage had used "a motor vehicle... to avoid apprehension with no regard as to who this was likely to endanger".

Armitage was also being sentenced over August 2013 offences of using an offensive weapon to prevent lawful detention and aggravated break and enter in company.

 

Billy Michael Armitage has been imprisoned over high speed police pursuits and other offences.
Billy Michael Armitage has been imprisoned over high speed police pursuits and other offences.

Judge Mark Williams described the offending as a "lengthy and terrifying series of episodes involving a number of police vehicles and injuries to police officers".

Judge Williams made a finding of special circumstances on the basis of "evidence of institutionalisation" to allow for a lengthy parole period.

He sentenced Armitage to seven years and six months' prison, with a non-parole period of four years and eight months.

His partner was last month convicted of causing danger of serious injury to a child and sentenced to a two-year community corrections order.

She was also found guilty of being carried in a conveyance taken without consent, but no conviction was recorded and she received a 12-month conditional release order for this.



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