Police arrested and handcuffed a driver after chasing him at high speed between Southgate and Grafton.
Police arrested and handcuffed a driver after chasing him at high speed between Southgate and Grafton.

'Why the f--k didn't you stop?'

A GRAFTON police officer told a court why he pulled his gun on a driver and handcuffed him after an alleged pursuit between Southgate and Grafton.

Highway patrol officer Senior Constable Ashley Higgins said he pursued a white Commodore driven by Iyzhak Bagwell, 18, on November 29, 2018, with his warning lights and siren sounding. It pulled over near Butterfactory Lane on the outskirts of Grafton.

He told court he followed the car driving at speeds estimated up to 150km/h in 50 and 90km/h zones and saw the car overtake a vehicle, forcing another vehicle to brake heavily.

When Mr Bagwell pulled over, Const Higgins approached with his pistol drawn.

He told the court situations where police had been involved in extended chases had proved dangerous so he thought it prudent to draw his weapon.

He told the driver to turn around and get on the ground then handcuffed him.

"Why the f--k didn't you stop?" he asked.

"You were driving like a lunatic when you could see I was right up your a---e."

He said the accused began to cry and told him a number of times he was unaware police were following him.

Mr Bagwell was facing court on charges of being involved in a police pursuit, drive in a manner dangerous and being a P plate driver exceeding the speed limit by 45km/h.

Const Higgins said his vehicle, a Mitsubishi Pajero with a custom-built 'cage' on the back, hit speeds registering 140km/h to 160km/h during the chase, but was unable to overtake.

He explained the speedometer on his vehicle was not calibrated and was known to indicate speeds higher than actual.

He told the court there was a rule of thumb of "10 per cent plus 4km/h" to calculate the actual speed of the vehicle.

He said he used this to estimate the speed of Mr Bagwell's vehicle during the pursuit.

He began to follow Bagwell when he noticed the rear wheels of his car "lose traction" with the road as he left home.

He said the car accelerated quickly and he gave pursuit. He said soon after negotiating some bends and drawing level with Alumy Creek Reserve, he activated his vehicle's lights and siren.

He said despite this, the car continued to speed, sometimes opening up gaps of five seconds between him and his pursuer.

He said he saw the car overtake another vehicle and cause an oncoming vehicle to brake heavily to avoid a collision.

Defence solicitor John Kelly questioned many of the claims. He disputed the estimates of his client's speeds, how close he was to the car during the pursuit and when he activated his warning lights and siren.

He put it to the officer that it was his car that overtook the vehicle during the chase. The officer denied this.

Mr Kelly said he has a witness who can back this claim, but needs to subpoena him.

The case has been adjourned to November 29.



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