IT reads like something from an extreme action movie.
A high-speed car chase in a stolen vehicle. The driver and his passenger giving police the bird out of the window of the car that reached speeds of 150km/h. The driver overtaking cars on the inside, overtaking others on double lines on the crest of a hill, and almost crashing after clipping the inside wheels of a semi-trailer.
Behind the wheel of the stolen car was an inexperienced 15-year-old driver with his friend in the passenger seat. Police were forced to call off the pursuit due to the teenage driver’s disregard for the safety of other drivers on the road.
In evidence put before Orange Local Court police say they were amazed no one was killed by the reckless driving of the teenager who sat in the dock charged with stealing a motor vehicle, being an unlicensed driver, failing to stop and driving recklessly during a police pursuit.
The juvenile has been in custody at Orana Detention Centre in Dubbo since he was arrested last month. During that time authorities say the teenager has been extremely remorseful, has committed himself to his school studies and has been polite and courteous to everyone who has come in contact with him.
Orange Local Court heard the teenager was one of eight children who had been living in a supportive family environment in Bathurst when he decided to steal the car in Kelso on February 3 and lead police on a chase west on the Mitchell Highway.
The car was driven to Orange and along the northern distributor bypass before turning back towards Bathurst. The teen was eventually arrested by police when the car came to a halt in the Bunnings car park.
No family members turned up at Orange Local Court on Thursday when the boy appeared before magistrate Bruce Williams.
Mr Williams expressed concerns to the court when Aboriginal Legal Aid solicitor Bob Lulham told him although his client was 15 he has been assessed during his weeks in detention of only being able to function at a level well below his chronological age.
“He has the ability of a nine-year old,” Mr Lulham said.
Mr Williams turned to the young offender and told him he had no regrets about refusing him bail and keeping him in custody since he was arrested several weeks ago.
“This is a shocking offence and you put people in extreme danger,” Mr Williams said.
“But the upside of all of this is that you have proven to be exemplary while in custody and I want you to take stock of this and try to do the right thing.”
He told the teenager he did not want to see him boast about spending time in juvenile detention and use it as a badge of honour as some young offenders do, and praised the teenager for his efforts to apply himself to his studies during his time in detention.
“It is to your credit and what more can we ask of you?” Mr Williams said.
“ I have great confidence in you.”
The teenager was handed a seven-month suspended jail sentence and was released under the strict supervision of Probation and Parole as he returns to live with his family and continue his education.