Wild chase driver behind bars

TWEED magistrate Nick Reimer has described Thursday night's wild car chase through Murwillumbah as a “violent traffic offence of the highest order” and refused bail for the man responsible.

In Tweed Heads Local Court yesterday, police prosecutor Sergeant Brett Gradisnik told the court police were strongly opposed to bail for Jason William John Emmerich due to the extraordinarily serious facts of his case.

The 25-year-old faces seven charges stemming from a wild car chase which began when he allegedly attempted to run down a policeman.

Emmerich took police on a seven-kilometre drunken pursuit through the streets of Murwillumbah that ended when he crashed the car then made a failed attempt at a getaway on foot.

It is alleged that when police tackled Emmerich to the ground, he struggled violently and punched one officer in the face two times.

He allegedly had a blood alcohol concentration of .08 per cent.

Sgt Gradisnik told the court Emmerich was on two separate parole orders at the time of the offence and had spent periods of time in jail for violent offences.

He said it seemed people were “bending over backwards” to help Emmerich, but he was the one to put the public at risk.

“In my respectful submission the needs of the community outweigh the needs of the accused and he should be refused bail,” Sgt Gradisnik said.

Solicitor Phil Mulherin strongly argued Emmerich, who appeared in court from jail via video link, should be allowed bail to stay with his parents and attend “On Track” support services.

He said Emmerich, the sufferer of an intellectual disability, was in the process of obtaining help to fix his problems when a relationship breakdown led him back to alcohol.

“The support was in place and went very well,” Mr Mulherin said.

Mr Reimer said Emmerich's offences were extremely severe and refused bail.

“This could be classed as a violent traffic offence, with danger of the highest order.”



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