An inexperienced young driver who led police on a high-speed chase along the Princes Highway before tearing through the main street of Gerringong has been given one last chance to get professional help for his drug problem.
Magistrate Susan McGowan said James Martin's efforts at rehabilitation had been less than stellar since he was arrested and charged over the November 2020 incident.
"He hasn't covered himself in glory in his efforts towards rehabilitation," she said.
"These facts are some of the most serious I've read."
Police documents tendered to Wollongong court said highway patrol officers clocked Martin's silver Holden Astra travelling above the speed limit at Jasper's Brush and activated their lights and warnings sirens in a bid to stop the vehicle, however Martin accelerated away.
The court heard the 22-year-old, who had a passenger in the vehicle with him, travelled almost 15 kilometres in five minutes - an average speed of 169km/hr.
Martin was seen to exit the highway near Crooked River Wines and turn onto Belinda Street, travelling across double unbroken lines and towards oncoming traffic in a bid to lose the police car.
Officers terminated the pursuit when they saw Martin travel on the wrong side of the road over a blind crest.
A short time later, police received reports the vehicle was seen speeding through the busy main street of Gerringong.
Meanwhile, the vehicle's passenger was detained a short distance away by a member of the NSW Police dog squad.
The man told police he had been in the car with Martin but had demanded to get out after Martin's erratic and dangerous driving left him fearing for his safety.
While speaking to police, the man began receiving text messages from Martin, who told him he had gotten into a taxi and was driving around Gerringong.
Police contacted the taxi company, who confirmed they had dropped Martin at a property in Kiama Downs.
Officers located the Astra in Osbourne Street. It was seized and underwent forensic examination, with Martin's DNA and fingerprints discovered in the vehicle.
Martin pleaded guilty to charges of police pursuit and driving without a licence.
Magistrate McGowan agreed to adjourn Martin's sentencing for two weeks to allow him to attend Illawarra Drug and Alcohol Service and the court-ordered MERIT drug program.
Read more Illawarra court and crime stories here.
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