Driver gets jail after pursuit ends in flames on the M1
A MAN whose car spectacularly burst into flames on the Pacific Motorway following a police chase that ended near Pottsville will spend the next year behind bars.
Kalem Cosgrove, 19, of Maryborough in Queensland, faced Tweed Heads Local Court on Monday on 18 charges relating to the incident that culminated in the explosion of his Ford Falcon at 1.15pm on Sunday.
Appearing without a shirt or shoes, the offender showed little emotion as magistrate Michael Dakin delivered his verdict, noting the offender's history of traffic crimes north of the border and the fact he put a 14-year-old female passenger in danger.
The court heard Cosgrove twice led police on a chase beginning on Sunday morning just after 10am near South Grafton and ending on the M1 at Crabbes Creek, near Yelgun, south of Tweed Heads.
Police initially attempted to stop the car to carry out a breath test after noticing different number plates on the front and rear of the vehicle.
The defendant's solicitor Tom Ivey said his client "obviously accepts the gravity of the matters" and pleaded for leniency due to his client's relatively young age and the possibility he could turn his life around.
He said Cosgrove quit his job last Wednesday and was in NSW on a holiday when the offence happened, believing initially he could evade police and the matter be over but it spiralled out of control.
But magistrate Dakin pointed out Cosgrove continually refused to stop, driving on after police twice used road spikes to try to bring his Falcon to a halt, to the point his car became so hot it burst into flames.
Cosgove was convicted for charges including driving while disqualified, failing to stop when asked by police and displaying stolen number plates. He will be eligible for parole on January 14, 2018.