Druggie driver's 170km/h chase with trailer in tow
AN IPSWICH magistrate has labelled the driving history of a serial offender as absolutely "woeful".
Ipswich Magistrates Court heard police deployed stingers in their pursuit of the drugged David John Hill.
Hill, 36, from Raceview, appeared in custody before Magistrate Andy Cridland and pleaded guilty to 18 charges.
These included dangerous operation of a motor vehicle when adversely affected by an intoxicating substance at Purga on September 14; stealing a vehicle - a box trailer; speeding; six counts of stealing fuel; driving with drugs (methylamphetamine) in his system at Flinders View on October 11; driving an unregistered and uninsured vehicle; and driving a vehicle with a false registration plate from another vehicle.
Police prosecutor Ricky Tsoi said Polair tracked the car for 17 minutes from Redbank Plains Rd.
It was towing a trailer when Hill drove through red stop lights, at speed, reaching 170km/h on the Cunningham Highway. He'd dangerously overtaken a vehicle at the Swanbank off-ramp.
Mr Tsoi said Hill parked in a secluded area at Swanbank and unhooked the stolen trailer then did an illegal turn and drove toward Yamanto.
Stingers had been deployed but Hill drove off the road to avoid them.
"He swerved toward a police officer (deploying the stingers) narrowly missed, and narrowly missed a head-on with an oncoming car," Mr Tsoi.
Mr Tsoi said Hill's conduct was a serious risk to drivers.
"He swerved toward a police officer who deployed stingers into the wrong lane of oncoming traffic." Mr Tsoi said.
Mr Cridland said Hill had previous drink driving offences and a dangerous operation on his record.
He stole $494.13 worth of fuel from Coopers Plains, Yamanto, West Ipswich, Ebbw Vale, Salisbury, and Redbank Plains.
Defence lawyer Tyronne Thomas said Hill had expressed remorse in a letter to the court outlining personal circumstances that led him to make poor choices.
He said the mechanic was a father of three and attended Springwood State High and later had a scrap metal business. Hill did fuel drive-offs when homeless and living out of his car.
"He understands his stupidity," Mr Thomas said.
Mr Thomas said Hill had been assaulted in jail and was now in protected custody. Mr Cridland said Hill had 12 pages of traffic history and four pages of criminal offences.
"His traffic history is absolutely woeful. The facts as set out realistically are frightening," Mr Cridland said.
Hill was sentenced to 18 months' jail and ordered to serve six months. With two months already spent in custody, he will be released to parole on May 18. He was disqualified from driving for at least two years and three months.