Man to serve jail time for fleeing from police
A MACLEAN man's attempts to escape from police, who were trying to stop him after he was caught driving while disqualified, have been described by a magistrate as having the potential for "catastrophic consequences".
Troy Thomas Lavelle, 31, was sentenced in Grafton Local Court on Monday after pleading guilty to charges of driving a motor vehicle while disqualified and a police pursuit charge.
According to police facts tendered in court, Lavelle was on a nine-month suspended jail sentence and disqualified from driving until 2021 when he was detected driving twice.
About 7.55pm on September 26, Lavelle was driving on Craig St in Grafton and passed a fully marked police car.
Officers recognised Lavelle and performed a u-turn to try to catch up with him, before he turned right onto Villiers St and hit speeds up to 100km/h in a 50km/h zone.
Lavelle sped through an intersection, which caused another motorist to slow down to prevent a collision, and turned on to Bacon St and through more intersections.
As a result, and because the road was wet due to heavy rainfall earlier in the evening, police terminated the pursuit.
Lavelle's defence solicitor attempted to make a Section 32 application to have the charges dealt with under the Mental Health Act, citing Lavelle's attention deficit disorder as a primary cause for his impulsive actions in driving while disqualified and fleeing from police.
However, Magistrate Jeff Linden said the matters were of a serious nature and "not a matter were a Section 32 will be considered".
Mr Linden said Lavelle's actions in fleeing from police had the potential to cause catastrophic consequences and had put the community at risk.
Sentenced to 15 months' jail, Lavelle is eligible for parole after a month and with time served he may be released on October 26. He was disqualified from driving for two years.