A Thirroul man led police on a chase along the Princes Highway at Unanderra before he abandoned his car in the middle of the road and ran away, a court has heard.
Kaine William Eager drove on to the wrong side of the road and ran a red light in a desperate bid to avoid police, later opting to run from officers and hide in nearby scrub, Wollongong District Court was told yesterday.
Eager, who pleaded guilty, was sentenced in the local court to four months’ jail for the offence, but appealed the term, arguing the penalty was too severe.
Dismissing the 24-year-old’s appeal yesterday, Judge Paul Conlon said Eager had put other people at risk.
‘‘Your driving was potentially dangerous to other road users and pedestrians. In my view, the magistrate was clearly justified in imposing the sentence,’’ he said.
‘‘People driving in this manner, who take off from police as you did, have to understand they can’t expect leniency from the court.’’
Police were patrolling Central Avenue about 1pm on September 4 when they saw Eager parking in a driveway, the court was told.
Police stopped a short distance away before deciding to follow Eager when he drove away, stopping when he turned into a bottle shop.
As officers got out of their car, Eager accelerated out of the store’s driveway and turned on to the Princes Highway.
Police ran to their vehicle and tried to follow but were blocked by traffic, the court heard.
They watched as Eager crossed on to the wrong side of the road, ran a red light and turned in front of traffic.
When police eventually caught up with Eager, they found his car stopped in the middle of the road but soon saw the driver running, heading towards Unanderra train station.
Officers chased on foot, and found Eager hiding in scrub.
Arguing Eager’s sentence was excessive, defence barrister Jane Healey told the court her client had a limited driving record and had only led police on a short pursuit, noting no one was hurt during the chase.
Ms Healey said Eager knew he should not have been driving and had simply panicked.
Judge Conlon determined the appeal had no merit and ordered Eager to serve the four-month jail term.