Teen was escaping ‘unsavoury’ people during car chase
A NORTH Queensland teenager and her boyfriend were fleeing "unsavoury people" when they stole a car, drove across two states and ended by ramming Tweed police cars, a court has heard.
Sera Suzanne Rose Royce, 18, appeared in Tweed Heads Local Court today after pleading guilty to riding in a conveyance taken without consent.
Court documents revealed Royce was with her boyfriend and co-accused Brooklyn David Fullerton, 20 when they stole a white Colorado ute from the Holden dealership in Mackay on August 5.
The pair was next spotted by police in Rockhampton in a dual-cab ute with incorrect number plates.
At 2pm on Saturday, August 8, NSW Police were told by Queensland Police they were following the stolen car which was last seen speeding towards the border.
When Fullerton passed Kennedy Dr in Tweed, two police cars activated lights and sirens.
Fullerton reached 160km/h in a 100km/h zone and exited the motorway at Tweed Heads South.
He was seen weaving in and out of traffic around the Tweed Heads area and ran two red lights.
Police stopped the chase as it became too dangerous when Fullerton began driving on the wrong side of the road.
The pair was later found in a basement car park and when a police officer drew his weapon and told them to get out of the car, Fullerton accelerated the car towards the officer, and he had to jump out of the way.
Two police cars were parked in the driveway of the car park and Fullerton rammed them both before finally breaking through on his third attempt, busting the ute's tyre in the process.
The cars were estimated to have sustained $200,000 worth of damage.
Police searched for the couple, also using the Queensland Police dog squad, around the Anchorage Island Estate.
Shortly after 5.30pm, police found the couple at the intersection of Wharf St and Florence St in Tweed Heads.
Fullerton ran away while Royce was arrested.
Fullerton was later arrested at the Tweed Hospital the same day.
Fullerton pleaded guilty on Monday to charges including driving while disqualified, police pursuit, using an offensive weapon to prevent arrest and possessing stolen property yesterday.
His case was adjourned for a sentencing report to be made.
During her police interview, Royce said they didn't stop for police because they did not want Fullerton to go to jail.
In the underground car park, she said Fullerton drove at the police officer because they were scared for their lives and he was trying to protect her.
Defence solicitor Geoff Gallagher said Royce was originally born in New Zealand and had effectively been homeless and couch surfing since becoming estranged from her mother in Mackay four years ago.
He said the couple felt they needed to escape Mackay as their lives were threatened by "unsavoury" people.
"She does appreciate things well and truly got out of hand, she said it was a real wake up call and understands she is lucky to be alive," Mr Gallagher said.
Prosecutor Alix Thom said Queensland police were intending to charge Royce with further offences which occurred in the sunshine state.
Magistrate Geoff Dunlevy said he was careful to ensure that Royce was only punished for the acts she committed as opposed to the co-accused.
"Your crime is you got into a car stolen and remained in it," Mr Dunlevy said.
Royce was convicted and sentenced to a two-year community corrections order.