A young man will spend two years behind bars after he threw a loaded gun out of a car window while driving at "hellish speeds" during a police pursuit through Port Kembla last year.
Jayden Kierce, 21, was sentenced for a host of driving and firearms offences in Wollongong Local Court on Tuesday following his arrest in September stemming from two police pursuits through Blacktown and Lake Illawarra suburbs, less than 12 hours apart.
Magistrate Darryl Pearce said Kierce showed "maniacal behaviour" and had "no regard" for his life or members of the community when he drove more than double the speed limit during the two police pursuits while being a suspended driver.
He also noted Kierce, who lived in Cringila, threw a gun out of the window, and was the subject of a firearms prohibition order.
Documents tendered to court said Kierce drove a Toyota Rav 4 at a top speed of 158km/h during the first chase, parts of which occurred in a signposted 70km/h zone in the early hours of Saturday, September 5. He drove to Blacktown to collect a gun.
Kierce was involved in a second police chase when he returned to the Illawarra on the Saturday afternoon.
He drove the same Rav 4 at speed along Port Kembla streets, prompting the second chase, but it too was stopped for safety reasons.
Kierce was arrested at Warrawong McDonald's a short time later.
Meanwhile, police discovered a loaded, shortened .22 calibre rifle in a front yard, near a small child, on Horne Street, which Kierce threw from the vehicle during the pursuit.
In court, defence lawyer Caitlin Drabble conceded Kierce's driving was "incredibly dangerous" but said he was heavily affected by a "cocktail of drugs" at the time.
Ms Drabble said Kierce had been taking drugs since he was 11 and had a difficult childhood having being taken out of his parents' custody.
She said Kierce has reconnected with his mother, but upon her incarceration just days before the pursuits, he spiralled into heavy drug use.
Ms Drabble said Kierce has been clean since being in custody and he wanted to start doing courses as he was now "thinking clearly" about his life. She said he was able to see "a future that does not involve crime".
Magistrate Pearce took into account Kierce's age, that it was his first time in custody and his "tragedy in life".
For the two police pursuits, driving while suspended, firearms offences and for doing a burnout on a motorbike, he was sentenced to two years imprisonment, fined $2000 and will be suspended from driving for three years.
Kierce will be be on parole for two years following his release.
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