A "career criminal" who allegedly led police on a dangerous pursuit through Lake Illawarra and Wollongong in a stolen car before ramming two undercover cop cars has been refused bail.
Sophie Bentley, the alleged passenger, was granted bail claiming she did not know the car was stolen.
Matthew Ryan, 31, fronted Wollongong Local Court on Friday where he unsuccessfully applied for release after being charged with seven offences following his arrest on Thursday afternoon.
Bentley, 19, was charged with being carried in a conveyance taken without consent of the owner.
Documents tendered to court said CCTV footage captured a man, who police allege is Ryan, and an unknown man enter the Toyota car dealership at Nowra about 1.30pm on Wednesday.
The men allegedly got into a 2021 white Camry sedan, which had no registration plates, parked next to the showroom before Ryan used the keys that were on the dashboard to drive out of the lot, while staff called police.
Ryan then allegedly drove to two petrol stations, one in South Nowra shortly after leaving the dealership where he filled up with $26, and the second in Warrawong at 7pm where he got $40 worth of petrol.
On both occasions, police allege Ryan did not pay for the fuel.
About 8.40am the next day, police used the Camry's GPS tracking device to locate it in the Lake Illawarra area.
Officers called in PolAir before the car was spotted in Barrack Heights about 9.30am, with registration plates that had been reported stolen the previous day.
Lake Illawarra Highway Patrol turned on their warning lights and siren in an attempt to stop the driver, who police allege was Ryan.
He allegedly failed to stop and a pursuit was started.
Ryan allegedly drove onto New Lake Entrance Road where he crossed into oncoming traffic and narrowly avoided multiple cars.
Police terminated the pursuit for safety reasons and PolAir continued to track the car.
Police allege Ryan continued to drive on the wrong side of the road, went through numerous red traffic lights and narrowly missed colliding with other vehicles, with his dangerous driving continuing for an hour.
About 10.30am, police saw the car enter an underground car park on Market Street, Wollongong.
Police cars surrounded the Camry however Ryan allegedly reversed into an unmarked police vehicle, causing minor damage, before he left the scene.
Police encircled the car once again while on Market Street before Ryan allegedly reversed into another unmarked highway patrol car, rendering it inoperable.
Ryan allegedly got away and continued west along Market Street.
PolAir tracked the car to Berkeley where police allege Ryan got out of the driver's seat as did a female passenger, who police allege was Bentley.
The pair allegedly entered Teal Place reserve where they were arrested and the car was towed from the scene.
The pair were taken to Lake Illawarra Police Station and charged.
Bentley told police she met Ryan three days prior at a friend's house.
She said she contacted him on Thursday morning to arrange a lift and claims she was only told by Ryan "the car's stolen. I'm not going to stop" when the police spotted the Camry in Barrack Heights.
Police said in the documents that Ryan had a "clear disregard" for the safety of the general public, and it was "pure luck" no one was seriously injured.
Ryan was charged with take and drive conveyance without consent of owner, two counts of dishonestly obtain property by deception, police pursuit - not stop - drive dangerously, drive manner dangerous and two counts of use offensive weapon to prevent lawful detention.
In court on Friday, defence lawyer Alyce Fisher said her client denied the allegations and submitted the prosecution case was not strong as the alleged facts did not state if or how the CCTV footage identified Ryan.
She also said Ryan suffered from schizophrenia and had an infected leg wound that needed treatment.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Rachel Biffin opposed Ryan's release noting his lengthy criminal history and that he was on parole for similar offences.
Magistrate Susan McGowan refused to grant Ryan bail due to the strong prosecution case and due to him likely facing a custodial sentence if he was convicted.
Meanwhile, Bentley's lawyer Ronald Davis told the court his client did not know the car was stolen and assisted police with their investigation.
He also said Bentley had an ongoing issue with drugs and she was due to start a rehabilitation program next week.
Magistrate McGowan granted her bail to live at Windang, report to police three times a week, participate in the drug rehabilitation program and abide by a nighttime curfew.
Ryan's case was adjourned to June 1 while Bentley will return to court on June 8.
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