Rockingham: Man blames cheating partner for decision to steal car, causing high-speed Freeway accident

Stock image.
Stock image.

A MAN has blamed his partner’s pregnancy to another man as the reason why he had to steal his mother’s car and lead police on a high-speed chase last year.

The chase came to and end when the car rolled three times on the Kwinana Freeway near the Karnup Road exit.

Appearing at Rockingham Magistrates Court via video link from Acacia Prison, Travis James David Hill pleaded guilty to failing to stop, dangerous driving causing bodily harm, no authority to drive, reckless driving to escape pursuit, stealing a motor vehicle and driving recklessly.

The prosecutor said Hill was seen in a black Hyundai, which had earlier been reported stolen, in the car park of the Baldivis Shopping Centre on August 19 last year.

Police spotted him again on Nairn Drive where they tried to pull him over but Hill accelerated away and led police on a chase back through the car park.

He sped through several streets before making it to Mandurah Road, reaching speeds of 140km while passengers in the car threw items at the police car.

Police aborted the chase due to safety concerns but later saw the car on the freeway where it was swerving and overtaking cars using the emergency lane.

Hill tried to overtake two cars but lost control, swerving across two lanes of traffic before driving down an embankment and rolling three times.

A female passenger received, cuts, abrasions, soft tissue injuries, had a facial piercing ripped from her face and a dislocated shoulder.

A male passenger, Hill’s brother, received soft tissue injuries and cuts and abrasions.

The prosecutor asked for $3000 reparation for the female victim as she had no insurance.

The duty lawyer said the facts were accepted.

She said Hill was currently sentenced and due for release in April 2018 after breaching his parole.

She said Hill had previously served a nine-month term and was released on strict parole conditions.

Upon release he discovered his partner had been unfaithful and was pregnant to another man so he took drugs and then stole a car.

She said the 19-year-old had been in custody since August 21, 2017

She asked the Magistrate to consider his young age and early pleas.

The prosecutor said it warranted prison as the injuries would have been significant for the victims.

“It was by sheer luck that they weren’t killed and to do it on the freeway where there are multiple cars – it could have been much worse,” she said.

Magistrate Vivian Edwards agreed with the prosecutor.

“As the prosecutor said it was only good luck no-one was killed due to your driving,” she said.

“You have a prior record for reckless driving – just seven months earlier where you were sentenced to prison.

“Now you are serving out the rest of your parole due to breaching it.

“You do have family support which is fortunate.”

She sentenced him to 18 months imprisonment and made him eligible for parole.

“I was not going to order parole but due to your family support and the prospect of employment upon release it is less likely you will re-offend.”

He was also disqualified from driving four years and a half years.

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