Qbn man to face court after police pursuit

A JERRABOMBERRA man who allegedly led police on a high-speed chase reaching more than 100km/hr through the streets of Queanbeyan will face court today.

Matthew Harley John, 26, was charged with police pursuit, resisting police, exceeding the speed limit by more than 45km/hr and driving while disqualified following the chase earlier this week.

At about 8.30pm on Monday night, Queanbeyan Police in Jerrabomberra saw a Ford Fiesta enter the roundabout at North Terrace and Southbar Road at high speed. The vehicle was not displaying any license plates.

After police attempted to stop the car on Tharwa Road, the driver drove off at high speed with police initiating a pursuit which reached speeds of up to 110km/hr through Queanbeyan and Jerrabomberra.

It is believed the pursuit lasted between one to two minutes.

The male driver of the vehicle then stopped in Charles Street and ran from the car. He was pursued and apprehended by police.

Queanbeyan Police inspector Chris Varley said a violent struggle then ensued with “a number of individuals” attempting to hinder police making the arrest.

Inspector Varley said some of those people may have been known to the accused.

In denying John bail in Queanbeyan Local Court on Tuesday, registrar Michael Wolters described him as a flight risk and said his actions in leading police on the high speed pursuit had been “reprehensible”.

“There seems to me on the facts before me…a very strong police case,” Mr Wolters said.

“[Your] behaviour…and that of members of the community in also making the arrest difficult [for police] does not look good for you.”

The court heard John has lengthy history of traffic related infringements including a previous drive while disqualified charge in 2012 and three drink driving offences.

Inspector Varley, meanwhile, said the decision by police to initiate the pursuit had been made with the strongest possible consideration of the risks involved to the police and members of the general public.

“There is always great concern and anxiety on our part when people decide to drive dangerously in a pursuit situation,” he said. “The last thing we want is for it to go pear shaped.

“Pursuits are closely monitored at the local level in real time by a senior officer and the whole process is continually reassessed. If at any stage…a senior officer feels the need to terminate the pursuit, it will be terminated immediately.” 

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