A Molong resident who was caught hiding in a sand dune following a police chase, faced Orange Local Court on Monday for riding in a stolen car.
Christopher Steven Wilson, 25, of Bank Street, Molong, was caught after the stolen Hyundai Santa Fe was abandoned and he and three co-accused ran onto Stockton Beach on May 24, 2018, and police followed their footprints.
According to police, officers were patrolling in Stockton in an unmarked vehicle about 11.15am when they saw the stolen Hyundai displaying stolen number plates parked outside a house with two people in the car.
The police travelled further up the road to conduct a u-turn so they could speak with the occupants but when they came back they saw the car speeding away.
They all believed the vehicle was not stolen at the time of the incident, only the driver knew it was stolen.Solicitor Neil Jones
Police reported that the car overtook vehicles on the wrong side of the road as well on the dirt verge on the left-hand side of the road and at one point drove along a closed road that was still under construction and evaded police by driving over a median strip.
However, the police went to Stockton Beach following calls from the public.
A business lent police a quad bike so they could get to the car, which was found 500 metres past the two-wheel drive access track and four occupants from the vehicle were found hiding in the sand dunes.
Solicitor Neil Jones said Wilson is considering moving back to the Newcastle area because he had more work opportunities there and when he got into the Hyundai he did not know it was stolen.
"They all believed the vehicle was not stolen at the time of the incident, only the driver knew it was stolen," Mr Jones said.
Magistrate David Day place Wilson on a supervised 18-month community correction order for being a passenger in the stolen car.
Mr Day said the May 24 offence had been passed around various courts before Wilson was found guilty in his absence and the matter was sent to Orange Local Court for sentencing.
Mr Day also convicted Wilson without further penalty for failing to appear in Raymond Terrace court on April 26.
DO YOU WANT MORE ORANGE NEWS?
- Receive our free newsletters delivered to your inbox, as well as breaking news alerts. Sign up below ...