Drink-driver who led police on pursuits lodges pleas
A BALLINA man who claimed he'd turned over a new leaf when he was in court five months ago has pleaded guilty to fresh police pursuit and drink-driving offences.
Jake Parke, 22, waved at two loved ones who supported him in Byron Bay Local Court when he appeared by video link from Grafton Correctional Centre on Monday.
His solicitor lodged guilty pleas on his behalf to the six charges against him, including two counts of engaging in a police pursuit, taking and driving a conveyance without consent, mid-range drink-driving, changing his blood alcohol concentration before a test and driving while disqualified.
Parke was one of four men arrested after the pursuits, which began when police tried to stop the Toyota Yaris he was driving on Woodburn St, Evans Head about 1.55am on Saturday, February 15.
The pursuit was terminated due to safety concerns but police engaged again when at Wardell, before Parke continued to Ellis Rd at Alstonville.
There, Parke was arrested along with three other men, aged 19, 20 and 25 shortly before 2.30pm.
Parke returned a blood alcohol reading of 0.142.
His solicitor, Tenika Vakauta, made no application for bail on his behalf.
But she asked for Parke to be assessed for possible engagement in the Balund-a diversionary program in Tabulam.
Parke was sentenced to community corrections orders last September over a break-and-enter incident during which he stole $200 worth of alcohol from the Ballina Angling Club.
At that time, another solicitor told the court Parke presented as a "different person" compared to previous dealings and spoke of his "considerable remorse".
The matter will return to court on March 9.