An Albion Park Rail concreter who led police on two highly dangerous pursuits in less than a week has been sentenced to 12 months behind bars.
Jonathan Jerrett was travelling along main arterial roads during peak-hour traffic when he fled from highway patrol officers on the afternoons of April 11 and April 16 this year, crossing to the incorrect side of the road and driving towards oncoming traffic in a bid to evade police.
Documents tendered to Wollongong Local Court on Tuesday said police had pulled up next to a Mazda CX-7 near Shellharbour Airport just before 5pm on April 11 when they saw Jerrett sitting in the driver's seat, trying to hide his face from view.
They looked up the 31-year-old father-of-three on the internal police database and soon discovered he was wanted on a charge of special aggravated break and enter.
The information was broadcast to other police vehicles, one of which spotted the car moments later. Jerrett did not stop when directed to do so, sparking a chase.
The court heard Jerrett soon crossed to the wrong side of the road and began driving southbound in the northbound lanes, forcing police to terminate the pursuit.
Five days later, Jerrett was involved in a second chase in the same vehicle.
The court heard Jerrett reached speeds of up to 150km/h as he travelled northbound across the Windang Bridge, then did a U-turn at the Boronia Street intersection before travelling south, again at speed.
Pursuing officers said it was clear Jerrett was making "a significant effort" to evade them, saying he was "erratically changing lanes without indicating while overtaking slower vehicles".
Jerrett repeatedly crossed to the wrong side of the road during the chase, at one stage narrowly avoiding a collision with an oncoming vehicle. He was also seen driving onto the footpath near Warilla McDonald's before disappearing out of sight along New Lake Entrance Road.
Jerrett was arrested the following night and charged with a host of driving offences.
Arresting police were scathing of Jerrett's behaviour in documents tendered in court, labelling him an "extreme danger" to himself and others.
"It is very fortunate that the CX-7 was not involved in a serious collision with any pedestrians or motor vehicles," they said.
In court on Tuesday, defence lawyer Melissa Humphreys said Jerrett had been a regular user of ice, heroin and alcohol at the time of his offending and had suffered a traumatic childhood marred by domestic violence between his mother and stepfather.
However, she said Jerrett was motivated to engage in rehabilitation.
Magistrate Susan McGowan sentenced Jerrett to a 15-month jail term, with a non-parole period of 12 months. With time served, he will be paroled in July 2021.