High-speed chase leads to prison

Tim EdmundsAlbany Advertiser
High-speed chase leads to prison
Camera IconHigh-speed chase leads to prison

A magistrate says it was lucky a methamphetamine-affected driver did not kill himself or other road users when he led police on two dangerous high-speed pursuits on Albany Highway.

Travis Michael Sheedy, 22, was sentenced to 13 months in jail in Albany Magistrate’s Court last Thursday after pleading guilty to a string of traffic charges stemming from two pursuits to evade police in September last year.

Sheedy reached speeds in excess of 180km/h and later admitted to police he closed in on 200km/h at times during the high-speed chase.

The court heard police were forced to abort the pursuit of Sheedy which began in Kendenup and he crossed solid white lines and overtook a group of cars at a crest.

Just more than 30 minutes later Sheedy’s Magna sedan was spotted in Kojonup as he sped at 100km/h through the 50km/h townsite.

Police attempted to apprehend Sheedy by deploying a stinger on the road which he avoided.

Sheedy pleaded guilty to 11 charges including the serious charges of reckless driving to escape police pursuit, reckless driving above 155km/h to escape police pursuit, two counts of failing to stop and driving on cancelled licence.

Defence counsel Wendy Stewart said her client panicked as he had no licence and a small amount of drugs when he made the “serious misjudgement” to evade police.

She said Sheedy had accepted full responsibility for his actions and attributed his offending to his methamphetamine use and asked for any sentence to not crush his prospects of rehabilitation.

Prosecuting Sergeant Cameron Clifford called for more than the mandatory six-month jail sentence for drivers who drive recklessly to escape police pursuit due to the prolonged pursuit.

Magistrate Raelene Johnston said the offences were very serious. “You are a very good example of the insidious effects that methamphetamine can have on people,” she said.

“You could have quite easily killed yourself... the police officer was trying to stop you and make the road a safe environment and you were just out of control.”

Sheedy’s driver’s licence was also disqualified for two years and he was fined more than $2000 for charges of two counts of possessing cannabis, two counts of possessing drug paraphernalia, wilfully misleading a person performing a function under road law and intentionally defrauding a record.

Sheedy was made eligible for parole.

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