Alleged high-speed chase driver denied bail
AN ILUKA man alleged to have been behind the wheel during a 15-minute high-speed pursuit on Friday night had an application for bail refused in Grafton Local Court yesterday.
Joshua Brian Page, 34, appeared via audio-visual link and entered pleas of not guilty to police pursuit, driving while disqualified, driving in a manner dangerous, drug offences and resisting arrest.
Police allege that at 8.39pm on Friday night they attempted to stop Mr Page near James Creek due to a faulty headlight.
They say he refused and led police on a pursuit along the Pacific Highway and through Brushgrove before the vehicle left the road and crashed into a tree on Woodford Island.
It is also alleged that after crashing into a row of trees, the driver attempted to drive away while police were attempting to make an arrest.
In court, while making an application for Mr Page's release on bail, solicitor Greg Coombes submitted there were issues surrounding the identification of the driver during the time of the alleged offences, as there were two other people in the car at the time of the pursuit.
Mr Coombes also questioned why police tried to open only the front passenger door of the vehicle after it had crashed.
He also submitted if police were alleging Mr Page was the driver, it was unnecessary to question the owners of the vehicle as to who allegedly borrowed the vehicle.
As Mr Page was on parole for unrelated driving offences when he allegedly resisted arrest, the charge was upgraded to a serious and indictable offence.
Magistrate Karen Stafford said Mr Coombes needed to show cause as to why the continuing imprisonment of his client was unnecessary, but she said his submissions failed to do so.
Ms Stafford disagreed with Mr Coombes over the potential strength of the prosectuion's case, and said there was a strong identification case, and refuted his reading of the police facts.
Ms Stafford said the facts indicated police were forced to smash the driver's window to arrest Mr Page, which was when he allegedly resisted arrest.
Mr Page will next appear in Grafton Local Court on April 1.