Ellisha Cooksey, 20, of Ballina near her burnt-out and trashed car at Lennox Head.
Ellisha Cooksey, 20, of Ballina near her burnt-out and trashed car at Lennox Head. David Nielsen

Vandals trash, burn woman's car on roadside

EACH day Ellisha Cooksey travels to work she has to look at her burnt-out car as she drives her boyfriend's car from her home in Ballina to her workplace in Byron Bay.

Last Wednesday night, Miss Cooksey was returning home from work along the Coast Road at Lennox Head when her 1998 Nissan Pulsar broke down.

“I pulled over to the side of the road and parked it,” Miss Cooksey, 20, said.

“I thought it would be okay to leave it overnight because it was right behind houses.”

However, when Miss Cooksey returned the next morning she found her car trashed - the CD player ripped out, the seats partly unbolted from attempts to remove them, the door handles gone and all the windows smashed.

Upset at the sight, Miss Cooksey called Ballina police.

Miss Cooksey said she was unable to have the vehicle towed and was forced to leave it on the side of the road for another night.

And the next morning she was presented with an even more distressing sight. The car had been burnt out, leaving only charred remains.

“It wasn't insured so now I have to save up for another one,” she said.

Miss Cooksey said a nearby resident called police when they heard the sound of the car igniting.

“Even though they called police they have to come from either Byron Bay or Ballina, which takes at least 20 minutes,” she said.

“There needs to be a police presence in Lennox Head.

“The Coast Road north of Ross Lane is notorious as a spot for cars being burnt out, but I never expected this to happen so close to houses.

“If the car had exploded who knows what might have happened because it is so close to houses.”

Miss Cooksey said she believed damage to the car to be the work of more than one person.

“There are beer bottles and cigarette butts scattered all around,” she said.

“And glass is scattered everywhere.

“If only I could have gotten the car up further near the roundabout this might not have happened.”

Senior Constable Kevin Patston, of Ballina police, said it was very unusual for a car to be burnt out on the Coast Road at Lennox Head.

“This is the first one I have seen in eight years,” he said.

Snr Const Patston said police were taking the incident seriously and were investigating the matter.

He said The Coast Road was not known to police as a notorious place for cars to be set alight.

Anyone with information relevant to the incident should call Ballina police on 6681 8699.



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