Rockingham: man receives prison term for leading police on high-speed chase

Stock image.
Stock image.

A MAN who almost mowed down a police officer setting up a stinger during a dangerous chase insisted in court that he was on “ice” at the time and not ecstasy.

Nathan Scott Butler appeared via video link from Hakea Prison at Rockingham Magistrates Court on March 20, where he was sentenced to 14-months in prison.

He pleaded guilty to eight charges of reckless driving to escape police pursuit, failing to stop for police, using an unlicensed vehicle, gaining benefit by fraud, breach of bail, breach of a police order and breach of protective bail.

The prosecutor said Butler was spotted by police driving erratically on Ocean Reef Road, Woodvale on July 17, 2015.

Officers put on their lights and sirens and observed Butler doing 90km/h in a 70km/h zone, drifting between lanes before making his way to Trappers Avenue and Whitfords Avenue towards the Mitchell Freeway on ramp.

Butler drove at 120km/h on the freeway where he again drifted and swerved across all lanes.

Police set a stinger further along the freeway in an attempt to stop Butler, but as the officer had just set it he was almost ploughed down by Butler and had to run out of the way.

Butler’s car went over the stinger but kept driving with shredded tyres and sparking rims.

He got off at Cedric Street and attempted to do a U-turn in a carpark, but was cornered by police.

Police said he would not get of the car and was badly drug affected.

He told them he had taken a large amount of ecstasy.

Butler said he agreed with the facts bar one exception.

“It was not ecstasy your honour. I was under the influence of ice and in that induced state of mind,” he said.

“But that’s no excuse to be under the influence of drugs at the time if you know what I mean.”

He said drugs had been an issue for him since he was 18 years old.

Police said he had also stolen a pneumatic wrench from a store in Rockingham and had taken it to Rockingham Cash Converters where he exchanged if for $120.

Magistrate Leanne Atkins said there was a need for general and personal deterrence.

“By your own admission you say you were on ice. It is concerning that you were weaving across many lanes before almost colliding with a police officer deploying a stinger to try and stop you,” she said.

“You can not drive in this manner and put other road users at risk – in particular you could have caused significant injury to the police officer.”

He is eligible for parole.