Sean Mulhearn at Tweed Court. Picture Scott Powick Newscorp
Sean Mulhearn at Tweed Court. Picture Scott Powick Newscorp

How Kmart worker’s street race turned into a police chase

A Tweed Heads man wrote in a letter he "should have just pulled over" after a street race turned into a police pursuit landed him in court.

Sean Mulhearn, 20, pleaded guilty in Tweed Heads Local Court on Monday to speed exceeding 20km/h, speed exceeding 45km/h and police pursuit aggravated by not stopping and driving dangerously.

The court heard the offence occurred on January 2 at 11.05pm where Mulhearn and another person were travelling on Minjungbal Dr in a 60km/h zone travelling well in excess of the speed limit, only to brake heavily to avoid detection of a fixed speed camera.

The pair appeared unaware an unmarked police car was nearby.

Sean Mulhearn at Tweed Heads court. Picture Scott Powick Newscorp
Sean Mulhearn at Tweed Heads court. Picture Scott Powick Newscorp

 

Mulhearn turned left onto Sextons Hill Drive and was seen travelling between 90km/h and 100km/h in the 60km/h zone.

Driving a Volkswagen Polo, Mulhearn was seen pulling further away from police, reaching speeds of about 100km/h in the 60km/h zone, slowing at the top of a hill which allowed police to catch up.

Mulhearn was positioned in lane four of four, police next to him in the third lane and the co-accused in lane two of four.

Police activated lights signally for both to stop and saw Mulhearn driving the car.

The other car was on the entry to the pacific motorway, Mulhearn accelerated onto Terranora Rd, travelling at 100km/h in a 50km/h zone, overtaking other vehicles.

A pursuit began with police recording top speeds of up to 120km/h in a 60km/h zone.

Police lost sight of Mulhearn near Mahers Ln and stopped the pursuit before attending Mulhearn's home.

His dad was home and called Mulhearn to come back who was visibly shaking.

He was arrested and made admissions to being in the pursuit.

The defence told the court Mulhearn had written a letter of apology to the police involved in the pursuit to show his remorse.

Sean Mulhearn leaves Tweed Court and attempts to hide from waiting media after his criminal case was heard. Picture Scott Powick Newscorp
Sean Mulhearn leaves Tweed Court and attempts to hide from waiting media after his criminal case was heard. Picture Scott Powick Newscorp

Magistrate Michael Dakin questioned him, stating Mulhearn had been street racing which was how he was brought to the attention of police.

The defence said Mulhearn had made a split second decision and said in his letter: "I should have just pulled over."

"Hindsight is always 2020," Mr Dakin said.

The defence said the university student worked part time at Kmart and would have difficulty getting to work with the closest bus stop 5km away from his home.

He asked the court to consider the offence happened late at night with minimal other traffic.

"What if he crashed and there had been serious consequences," Mr Dakin asked.

The defence said his client acknowledged the danger he'd put other road users in however said had the circumstances been different Mulhearn may not have acted the same way.

Mr Dakin acknowledged Mulhearn had shown remorse through his letter and completing the driver education program.

But he left him a warning.

"When this type of driving occurs, lives are ruined," he said.

Mulhearn was sentenced to a two year community corrections order with 100 hours of community service.

He was disqualified from driving for 18 months and fined $200.



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