Sudden halt after high-speed chase

A TEENAGER involved in a high-speed chase that came to an abrupt halt when police deployed traffic spikes to shred its tyres has appeared in court to face a long list of charges resulting to a number of offences.

As the car rolled to a stop the teenagers took to the roadside scrub in a further attempt to evade authorities but their camouflage techniques failed and the pair were subsequently taken into custody and arrested over the incident.

Stanthorpe teenager Kayden James Cockerell, 17, appeared in Warwick Magistrates Court last week, where it was heard he and a juvenile accomplice stole a car from a sleeping Stanthorpe resident in the early hours of August 5.

The owner of the vehicle was awoken by the sound of it being stolen and contacted police.

The vehicle was heard to have been left in the garage by its owner, unlocked and with the keys in the ignition.

The court heard the pair reached speeds of up to 140kmh in the stolen vehicle in an attempt to evade police but were stopped 10km south of Warwick after police deployed traffic spikes.

Despite severely punctured tyres, the car travelled a further 700m before Cockerell and his accomplice ran off to hide in nearby bushland but were eventually taken into custody.

The court heard the incident was the culmination of a number of other offences committed by the duo, with several other vehicles targeted during their crime spree.

The police prosecutor told the court the pair had targeted a number of vehicles in the days leading up to August 5, where they were heard to be looking for cash and a car they could steal in order to drive to Sydney.

Cockerell was heard to be the lookout while his accomplice would rifle through the cars – with $15 in change heard to be their biggest income from one of the vehicles.

While Cockerell was being questioned over his involvement in the vehicle break-ins, police searched his wallet, where they recovered 11 gold rings on Cockerell, which were found to be stolen from local jewellers at an earlier date.

The criminals had made identification of the pieces easy, with all 11 still having their original price tags.

The court heard concrete was thrown through the window of the store before the hole was punched to make bigger and the rings extracted.

Two of the stolen rings remain outstanding, with the value of the jewellery heist said to be around $1000.

Counsel for Cockerell said the apprentice butcher was “present, but not a full participant” in the crimes.

During sentencing Magistrate Anne Thacker told Cockerell she was still unsure as to why he had taken part in the “offending spree”.

Her Honour told the teen he needed to change his friends and said he needed to “grow up fairly quickly and to some considerable degree”.

Last week's court date was a first for the teen, where he pleaded guilty to all nine charges, including stealing, receiving tainted property, unlawfully entering a vehicle and unlawful use of a vehicle.

Cockerell was placed on 12 months probation, fined $160, forced to pay $130 restitution for towing the stolen vehicle and disqualified for driving for six months.

No conviction was recorded on the criminal offences but convictions were recorded for Cockerell's traffic offences.

His accomplice is still proceeding through the courts but cannot be named due to his age.


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