Police slam driver involved in 'catastrophic' pursuit
A MACLEAN man charged over a high-speed pursuit police described as having "the potential for catastrophic consequences" will spend at least seven months behind bars.
Douglas Darcy Pearce, 27, appeared in Grafton Local Court after pleading guilty to a number of driving charges, including police pursuit, driving while disqualified and drive recklessly/furiously at speed/manner dangerous.
According to police facts, Pearce, who was disqualified from driving until May 2024 and on conditional bail at the time, was spotted by police driving in Maclean on February 18 this year.
Police checks revealed the plates on the vehicle Pearce was driving didn't match the vehicle and they attempted to stop Pearce, who accelerated harshly onto Wharf St at an estimated 90km/h in a 50km/h zone.
The vehicle turned right onto Bent St and lost traction on the roadway, and the back of the car hit the gutter but continued onto Bent St before driving across a nature strip.
The pursuit continued, as Pearce overtook a number of vehicles over double unbroken lines on Jubilee St and proceeded to speed through roadworks at speeds of 100km/h before pulling into a property, where he was arrested.
The police facts outlined that Pearce's actions "had the potential for catastrophic consequences".
"His manner of driving displayed a complete disregard for the safety of other road users and pursuing police," the court heard.
Pearce's solicitor said his client panicked when he saw police, as he knew he was not allowed to be behind the wheel but was distraught at the thought of not seeing his two children.
Magistrate Kathy Crittenden sentenced Pearce to 14 months behind bars, with a non-parole period of seven months. He was placed on an 18-month community corrections order and disqualified from driving for 18 months.