Jake Parke, 22, has been sentenced for breaking into a club and stealing $200 worth of alcohol.
Jake Parke, 22, has been sentenced for breaking into a club and stealing $200 worth of alcohol.

Man who led police on chase in stolen car granted bail

A BALLINA man who led police on a chase in a stolen vehicle has been released on bail to attend a diversionary program ahead of his sentencing.

Jake Parke, 22, was arrested after multiple pursuits which spanned from Evans Head to Alstonville in the early hours of Saturday, February 15.

He had earlier entered pleas to some of the charges against him and has now been formally found guilty of two counts of engaging in a police pursuit (drive dangerously), taking and driving a conveyance without the owner’s consent, mid-range drink-driving, altering the concentration of alcohol before a test, driving while disqualified and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Police said the pursuits began when they tried to stop the Toyota Yaris on Woodburn St in Evans Head about 1.55am.

After terminating the pursuit due to safety concerns, police re-engages at Wardell.

Parke continued to drive and ended up on Ellis Rd at Alstonville where he was ultimately arrested and returned a blood alcohol reading of 0.142.

According to court documents, Parke’s sentencing has been delayed under legislation which allows the court to defer sentencing for an offender to access rehab or an intervention program.

An updated sentencing assessment report is expected to be prepared for the court.

On Monday, he was granted bail to be released from Grafton Correctional Centre into the custody of staff of the program he will be attending.

He’s to remain at the site of that program so long as he’s “accepted by the manager” and must abstain from using alcohol or illicit drugs or misusing prescription drugs.

He’s to accept “regular and random alcohol and other drug screening”.

While court documents didn’t detail the program Parke was undertaking, his solicitor told the court in March he’d been found suitable for the Tabulam-based Balund-a diversionary program and if he leaves the program, he must report to police in nearby Casino within 24 hours.

During that same court appearance, Parke told the court: “I want to get some help, I don’t want to get sentenced to jail”.

When he’s ultimately sentenced for his crimes, the court will also consider any action to be taken over Parke’s breach of a community corrections order which he received last September over a break-in and theft of $200 worth of alcohol from the Ballina Angling Club.

The matter will return to Byron Bay Local Court on August 24.