News

Teenager bailed following alleged dangerous driving pursuit through Shepparton

By Liz Mellino

A teenager has been bailed despite a magistrate describing his behavior, which included being involved in an alleged police pursuit through Shepparton, as "outrageous" and "unbelievably dangerous".

The boy, 17, who cannot be named for legal reasons, faced a Children's Court on Monday, May 25 over the alleged offending which occurred on May 18 and 20.

The court heard police observed a green Mazda sedan being driven erratically and at "excessive" speeds on five separate occasion on May 18 and 20.

On May 20 about 10.48 pm police travelling along Wilmot Rd in Shepparton spotted the green Mazda sedan travelling on the wrong side of the road.

The court heard the vehicle conducted a U-turn before allegedly driving straight at the police car, with police "forced to take evasive action" to avoid a head-on collision.

Police later observed the vehicle travelling through Shepparton on a number of occasions, alleging the vehicle drove through a number of red lights at fast rates of speed.

That same evening about 11.21 pm the vehicle attended the Caltex Service Station in High St where police alleging the accused was captured on CCTV pumping petrol into the vehicle before leaving the scene without paying for the fuel.

Later, about 1.58 am on May 21, police allegedly observed the vehicle travelling along Riverview Dve and Melbourne Rd in Kialla on the wrong side of the road, the court heard.

After allegedly reaching speeds of up to 100 km/h on Wilmot Rd, police initiated a pursuit due to the "ridiculously dangerous driving manner which posed a serious risk to the community".

The court heard the vehicle allegedly continued travelling at excessive speeds "narrowly avoiding colliding with multiple innocent road users" before travelling through the Maude St Mall.

Shortly after police managed to bring the vehicle to a stop, with two co-accused fleeing the vehicle on foot before later being arrested.

The court heard police located a car battery inside the green Mazda which they believe was taken during an aggravated burglary in Toolamba that same evening, with police alleging the offenders stole a white Volkswagen Golf from the address which was later recovered badly damaged in Ardmona.

The accused was arrested on May 22 and made admissions to having been a passenger in the vehicle.

The court heard the teenager was on bail at the time of the alleged offending.

“He continues to commit serious offences in the community ... he poses a risk to the safety of the public,” a police officer told the court.

“It is only a matter of time the accused or co-accused will kill or seriously injure someone in an accident by the way they drive.”

The boy's lawyer told the court her client had been extremely co-operative with police following his arrest, noting that while the driving was "serious" her client was not the driver of the vehicle at the time and had not been charged with any of the driving offences.

“There's an element of peer pressure and involvement which sees him getting caught in things he doesn't instigate,” she said.

“As a young man and teenage boy, standing up against your friends is not the easiest thing to do.”

The lawyer proposed the boy, who was previously living with his mother, would live with his sister if bailed where he would be under more supervision than he'd had at his previous address.

“The accused understands his sister's address is quite different and he will have to abide by the rules, otherwise he will find himself back here,” she said.

The boy was released from custody to return to a Children's Court at a later date.