Driver of stolen car gets jail time
THE man who led police on a high speed chase in a stolen car on the Pacific Highway near Chinderah will spend nine months in jail.
John Wayne Tsiakas, 36, appeared in Tweed Heads Local Court yesterday after he was charged in relation to the pursuit on Saturday night.
Around 11.40pm Tweed Heads Highway Patrol began the pursuit of a Holden utility after it failed to stop when police activated their lights and sirens.
The pursuit continued at speeds of up to 170kmh forcing police to deploy road spikes near the Duranbah tunnels.
Despite three of the tyres being deflated and disintegrated by the spikes, the car continued on its rims at 65kmh swerving between lanes before finally coming to a stop.
Police arrested and charged Tsiakas and found Tanya Gorham, 34, from Cherbourg in the passenger seat and Broderick Vance Blair, 52, from Elizabeth Downs, intoxicated in the utility tray.
Inquiries revealed the utility had been reported stolen from a motel in Townsville several days ago.
The court heard Blair and his niece Gorham had no involvement in the theft of the utility but had accepted a lift from Tsiakas in Brisbane on the agreement that he drive them to Woodridge south of Brisbane.
Blair was so intoxicated he didn't realise Tsiakas had driven well past Woodridge and into NSW.
He slept through the entire chase and only woke up when police made the arrests.
Magistrate Michael Dakin said it was probably best he hadn't woken up for his own safety.
"If you had woken up there's a chance you could have been flung from the vehicle," Magistrate Dakin said.
"The driving was incredibly dangerous."
Blair and Gorham were both charged with being carried in a conveyance taken without the consent of the owner and sentenced to 12 month good behaviour bonds.
Tsiakas was sentenced to nine months imprisonment.
His driver's license was disqualified for at least three years.