Jerra man pleads not guilty to high-speed chase

A JERRABOMBERRA man who allegedly led police on a high-speed chase reaching speeds of more than 100km/hr through the streets of Queanbeyan was refused bail today at Queanbeyan Local Court.

Matthew Harley John, 26, pleaded guilty to driving uninsured, unregistered and while disqualified as well as resisting arrest following the incident on Monday, but pleaded not guilty to speeding and leading police on a chase.

John’s licence had been disqualified until 2017 for previous driving offences when police spotted him driving without number plates in Karabar at about 8.30pm on Monday night.

Police allege they were attempting to stop the car on Tharwa Road when the driver drove off at high speed, initiating a pursuit through Queanbeyan and Jerrabomberra.

Today the court heard that John struggled with alcohol abuse and was seeking to enter a residential rehabilitation program.

Solicitor Megan North said his time spent in jail since the offence had proved an “eye opener” for the accused, and that he would be willing to submit to a curfew and regularly report to police if granted bail.

“He’s learnt his lesson and he knows that [further] driving while disqualified will end up with him in custody,” Ms North said.

However Magistrate Chris Bone said John’s record of driving offences was too lengthy to grant bail.

“This defendant, although only 26, is up for his sixth and seventh major traffic matters, and even if he stopped [offending] straight away, I think a court would be flat out granting bail.

“Bail is refused,” he said.

John will face court again on January 28 for a hearing.

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