An ice-addicted crook who sent police on a wild chase through the Glass House Mountains while handcuffed to the steering wheel of his car has been jailed for more than five years.

James McClure was today sentenced in the Brisbane Supreme Court for a raft of offences including serious assault, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, unlawful use of a motor vehicle and possession of a large quantity of meth.

James McClure was handcuffed to a steering wheel as he evaded police through the Glass House Mountains.
James McClure was handcuffed to a steering wheel as he evaded police through the Glass House Mountains.

The 35-year-old from Bundaberg was slapped with a head sentence of five-and-a-half years' jail for the April 2018 car chase that saw him travel the wrong direction up the Bruce Highway after being confronted by police because there was a warrant out for his arrest.

The court heard McClure, who was on parole at the time, was sitting in the passenger side of a car when approached by police and questioned.

So determined not to return to jail, he struggled with officers and moved into the driver's side of the vehicle before being handcuffed to the steering wheel and driving away, dragging an officer 20 metres.

He then led police on a wild car chase through roadworks, where he was travelling 120km/h in a 40km/h zone, the court heard.

Later, a friend helped McClure remove the steering wheel from his vehicle to release him before lending him a ute so he could continue to evade police.

McClure, who the court heard was previously sentenced for running a clandestine drug lab, was then tracked by police helicopter before officers tried to stop him with road spikes.

When he eventually crashed his car at Heathwood, southwest of Brisbane, McClure was arrested fleeing the scene carrying a quantity of methamphetamine.

In sentencing, Justice Soraya Ryan said McClure was lucky not to have killed or injured another person during the drug-fuelled ordeal.

"You must know from your own experience with methamphetamine it brings nothing but ruin," she said.

McClure was sentenced to a range of other cumulative sentences as well as the head sentence of more than five years' jail.

He will be eligible for parole in December 2020.



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