Bellambi driver in 'three chases in one day'

A Bellambi man charged over three high-speed chases on the same day, one of which police allege reached 150km/h, appeared in Port Kembla Local Court on Sunday.

 Elwyn  Curtis, 26, of Bellambi faced 12 driving charges including driving while disqualified, negligent driving, stealing a car, failure to stop and reckless driving.

Police facts tendered to court alleged the charges stem from incidents on six separate days between July 14 and August 16.

Four of those incidents include driving away from police at high speed in a silver Commodore.

‘‘These pursuits were all terminated by the pursuing police due to the extreme danger to the driver of the silver Commodore, the pursuing police and other road users,’’ the fact sheet stated. ‘‘On each occasion, the driver of the silver Holden Commodore showed total disregard for any road rules.’’

On August 16, the day he was arrested,  police allege they pursued Curtis along Rothery Road towards Memorial Drive at 2.45am.

He was driving a silver Commodore at a speed of about  150km/h in a 50km/h zone, and ran through a red light and across Memorial Drive without slowing down.

‘‘It is a complete miracle that there were no other road users on Memorial Drive at the time, as it would have been a loss of life if the  silver Holden Commodore hit another vehicle,’’ the fact sheet stated.

The police vehicle ended the pursuit but another Highway Patrol saw Curtis and began a pursuit, where it is alleged he ran another red light across Memorial Drive – this time at Railway Street – while travelling at 130km/h.

At 10.56am on the same day, police found the silver Commodore, with Curtis asleep inside.

He made a high-speed escape and, several minutes later, was spotted by an off-duty police officer allegedly driving north along the Princes Highway on the wrong side of the road. The off-duty police officer had to take evasive action to avoid being hit by Curtis.

At Port Kembla Court on Sunday, police prosecutor Sergeant Pavlin  opposed bail, stating that ‘‘Mr Curtis poses an extreme risk to the community’’.

Curtis’s solicitor was not present at the bail court, however, he opted to make an application for bail himself.

He claimed he was a risk to no-one but himself and that he had never exceeded the speed limit.

Registrar Kathy Frost said Curtis had to remain in custody.

‘‘There is a risk of endangering the safety of the community and your criminal history is not a help to you,’’ Ms Frost said.

He was refused bail to reappear at Port Kembla Local Court on August 18.