A YOUNG man who led police on a high-speed chase of up to 160km/h in the northern suburbs in a stolen car has been sentenced to 15 months in jail.
Luke Gall (22) faced Joondalup Magistrates Court via video link from Hakea Prison today, pleading guilty to four charges relating to his theft of a white Range Rover from a woman while she was speaking on her phone at Belmont Racecourse on February 22.
The court heard the victim had pulled over at the racecourse about 6.50pm and got out of the car to use her phone.
Gall was riding past on a bike at the time and saw an opportunity to steal the vehicle.
The offender was witnessed by police driving the car on Main Street in Osborne Park at 11pm.
He refused to stop, which prompted a significant response involving the police helicopter as Gall and three passengers tried to evade officers through multiple suburbs including Balcatta, Landsdale and Madeley.
The police prosecutor said Gall was driving up to 160km/h, did not stop at traffic lights and travelled onto the wrong side of the road during the chase.
He abandoned the car when it ran out of fuel on Hepburn Avenue in Madeley.
Police detained him at a nearby sports club.
They also took the passengers in for questioning.
Gall apologised to police when he was given the opportunity to speak in court.
He said he had a drug habit at the time of the offence, which led to him turning to crime to support it.
“Sorry to the police force for putting them in danger,” he said.
Gall claimed he had an improved outlook on life since he was taken into custody after the incident.
“Since I’ve come in here, I’ve realised it’s stupid,” he said.
“I’m slowly taking steps to change.”
He said he was with a supportive girlfriend and had been doing his “best” to change.
Magistrate Gregory Benn responded by saying: “if that’s your best I would hate to see what your worst is Mr Gall.”
He said it was “very fortunate” that the high-speed chase did not result in anyone being killed.
Gall had a lengthy criminal record.
“It shows an ongoing disregard for people and the law,” he said.
Mr Benn sentenced Gall to eight months prison for the vehicle theft and seven months prison for reckless driving to escape police.
Those sentences were to be served cumulatively.
He was sentenced to eight months prison for driving recklessly after stealing a car and six months jail for failing to stop.
Those sentences were to be served concurrently.
He was made eligible for parole.