Judge reduces speeding driver's jail term

A Croom man who took police on two high-speed chases through the region's streets, has had six months shaved off his lengthy jail term.

Daki Bubanja successfully appealed his penalty in Wollongong District Court yesterday as the judge changed his release date to January 2015, knocking several months off his sentence.

Despite reducing the term, Judge Paul Conlon slammed Bubanja's driving antics, noting both pursuits were extremely serious.

"The offences show a person who was totally out of control at the time," he said. "He simply had no respect for the law or anyone else in the community."

Bubanja, 26, who pleaded guilty to a slew of driving charges, was jailed until July 2015 and disqualified from driving for 14 years in Wollongong Local Court last year.

The court heard Bubanja had raced another car along a wet Warilla street in March before he led police on a dangerous chase through the Wollongong CBD on April Fool's Day, crossing onto the incorrect side of the road, driving over roundabouts and reaching speeds of up to 200km/h.

Bubanja had several passengers in the car during another pursuit on April 27 when he travelled nearly double the speed limit.

A female passenger, who was unable to buckle her seatbelt during the chase, said she was "scared for her life".

"It was absolutely terrifying ... I thought this was it," she told police.

During sentencing proceedings last year, Bubanja claimed he had been confronted by a driver toting a gun during the April 27 pursuit, forcing him to race away.

The court was told Bubanja had not been trying to "outrun" police, who started to chase the car, but had simply feared for his life.

Defence barrister Jane Healey yesterday conceded the matters were serious but argued against the total length of Bubanja's sentence, claiming it was too severe.

Judge Conlon found the length of the jail terms were appropriate but opted to alter the starting date of one of the sentences.

He also knocked 12 months off Bubanja's lengthy disqualification period.

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