'Car chase teen high on paint'
AN Ipswich teen accused of leading police on a chase through Ipswich and Brisbane in a stolen BMW was allegedly high on "paint".
William John Noel Compton, 17, is accused of driving through a red light, driving over a roundabout, speeding through suburban streets, driving at two police cars and driving on a footpath to avoid interception.
He was refused bail when he faced Brisbane Magistrates Court on Tuesday on four counts of failing to stop for police, dangerous driving, stealing a car and burglary.
Magistrate John Costello said the teen, from Riverview, would be a danger to the public if he was released on bail and there was an unacceptable risk he would reoffend and fail to appear in court.
Police prosecutor Rob Lamason told the court the teen was allegedly caught on CCTV footage with a group of others during a break-in in the early hours of Easter Monday.
"(Compton) was the driver of a white BMW X5 and there was another vehicle black BMW Z4 roadster being used in the same location," he said.
"Both vehicles were stolen from the same address at West Lake.
"(Compton), in the company of these other people, have smashed their way into a Video Pro store in the Fortitude Valley (at 4.57am Easter Monday).
"They entered the store and stole a large quality of electronic equipment including laptops and digital cameras."
Sgt Lamason said the teen was captured on CCTV and was wearing the same clothing when police arrested him for allegedly driving the stolen BMW during several pursuits throughout Brisbane and Ipswich.
He said Compton had been disqualified from driving and had a lengthy traffic history for someone who had held a licence for less than a year.
Sgt Lamason said Compton, who had a history of offending as a juvenile including stints in detention, could not be interviewed by police when he was arrested because "he appeared to be under the influence of paint".
"The strength of the evidence is strong. We have the link to the serious offence of break and enter and the defendant was linked to the car involved in the pursuits, which was captured by media outlets," he said.
"The attempts and efforts he has made on a number of occasions to avoid being captured by police were dangerous, placed the lives of the police officers at risk, placed the lives of the community at risk and placed his own life at risk."
Defence lawyer Peta Dent, from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service, said there were gaps in the police case that she wanted filled.
She said she believed police concerns could be alleviated with frequent reporting conditions and a curfew while he lived with his mother in Goodna.
"It's the case (police) alleged CCTV footage shows clothing that matches that of my client when arrested at the shopping centre," she said.
"There's no description of that clothing, there's no reference to any distinctive emblems or motifs on that clothing.
"There's no indication of the time lapsed between when this vehicle was abandoned and when my client was picked up in the shopping centre.
"It's not the case he was arrested in the vehicle, nor is there any allegations he was in possession of keys or any other items linked to the vehicle."
The case was adjourned to May 1.
Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson told media it was inevitable policies surrounding police pursuits would become more restrictive and many would have to be abandoned for safety reasons.
"No one ever wants to see anyone hurt and our greatest fear is that in a police pursuit, we're chasing a car, the car goes through a red light at high speed and hits and kills a family, innocent victims, completely unaware travelling through a green light in the opposite direction," he said.
"No amount of stolen property, no car, is worth that."
Mr Atkinson said he hoped technology would make apprehension easier in the future with remote engine immobilisers, using GPS, becoming the answer to "this terribly difficult problem we face".
He said he hoped harsher penalties would deter people from this behaviour, noting evading police currently resulted in a $250 fine, the same as not wearing a seatbelt.
He said the new proposed regime would order police evaders to pay a minimum $5000 fine and disqualify them for two years.
Shaquille Ian Mimi, 17, from Woorabinda, and a 16-year-old Rockhampton juvenile, who cannot be named were also caught up in the chase of the two vehicles.
Mimi faced Richlands Magistrates Court on Tuesdayapr10 charged with unlawful use of a vehicle. He did not make a bail application but was remanded in custody to appear in court again on Thursday.
The 16-year-old boy has been charged with three offences including unlawful use of a motor vehicle and stealing.
A 17-year-old Redbank Plains man and a 19-year-old Inala man also faced the Richlands court on related charges.
A 16-year-old Chinchilla boy and a 13-year-old Inala boy have also been charged with more than a dozen charges each for their involvement but, like the 16-year-old Rockhampton boy, will be dealt with under the provisions of the Youth Justices Act.
Easter Monday car chase
- 4.57am: Break-in at Fortitude Valley electronics store. CCTV footage records suspects. Two stolen BMWs believed involved.
- 1.40pm: Police observe stolen white BMW in Rob St, Ipswich. Police activate lights and sirens to intercept the vehicle. The vehicle fails to stop, continues up Ash St before turning left into Wrigley Rd and going straight through a red light.
- 3.20pm: Police see the vehicle on the off ramp of the Centenary Hwy, Springfield, activate lights and sirens. The BMW fails to stop, drivers head towards Goodna at speed and drives over a roundabout.
- 3.45pm: Police see the BMW on Swanbank Rd. BMW goes to end and then does a U-turn back past police, driving directly at Ipswich Tactical Crime Squad vehicle before swearing off the road. Accelerates toward stinger site before sharply turning right into an industrial estate.
- 4.30pm: BMW sighted on Sherwood and Oxley Rds. Police activate lights and sirens but BMW does not stop. BMW accelerates away at speeds of 80-90kmh, crosses to the wrong side of the road and drives on footpath to avoid police. Narrowly misses a marked police car.
- 6pm: Compton arrested at Mount Ommaney Shopping Centre.