Police generic, car, flashing lights
Police generic, car, flashing lights

Man in ‘reckless’ high-speed chases through Grafton

A SOUTH Grafton man who stole a friend's ute in Raymond Terrace and drove to Grafton in order to comply with court orders, before leading police on a series of "immensely dangerous and reckless" pursuits, has been sentenced in Grafton Local Court.

Jake Robert Luscombe, 24, previously entered pleas of guilty to charges of police pursuit, drive recklessly in manner dangerous, possess prohibited weapon, posses prohibited drug, take and drive conveyance without consent of owner and two counts of resist officer in execution of duty.

According to police facts, on December 13 at 8am Luscombe was staying with a friend at Raymond Terrace and travelled together to a nearby golf club. When the friend went to a meeting, Luscombe took the keys to the black Toyota HiLux without permission and drove away.

The victim reported the vehicle stolen and nominated Luscombe as a suspect.

The next day at 1.20pm Luscombe visited his mother and asked for petrol money, however she refused. Noticing the vehicle, she contacted police after Luscombe left the South Grafton property.

At 3.30pm police were contacted after the vehicle and Luscombe were spotted near Hungry Jacks, and at 4.37pm police spotted the vehicle at Corcoran Park.

Police attempted to stop the vehicle as it travelled south on Villiers St, however Luscombe sped off at more than 100km/h in a 50km/h zone and a pursuit was initiated.

Luscombe hit speeds of 120km/h and was driving erratically, at times on the wrong side of the road, when police disengaged the pursuit. Luscombe continued through the Villiers and Pound streets roundabouts towards the recently completed new Grafton bridge where he undertook several vehicles before mounting a concrete divider and went onto the wrong side of the road.

An hour later police were patrolling South Grafton when the black HiLux was spotted swerving in and out of traffic on Iolanthe St.

A police request to re-engage a pursuit was denied, and Luscbome was seen on the wrong side of the road on Bent St, causing vehicles to take evasive action to avoid collisions before Luscbome eventually fled at speeds of 120km/h through South Grafton and onto Rushforth Rd.

On December 15 police attended a South Grafton property where Luscombe was found, and after a short struggle taken into custody.

In sentencing, magistrate Kathy Crittenden said Luscombe's actions were "immensely dangerous and reckless" and he "showed a complete disregard for the safety of himself and others".

Luscombe was sentenced to 12 months behind bars, with a non-parole period of seven months. He was also disqualified from driving for two years.