Serial drink-driver jailed after high-speed chase

Michael TraillAlbany Advertiser

A serial drink-driver has been jailed and had his licence permanently disqualified after leading police on a high-speed chase near Denmark.

Gavin Peter Ryding, of Spencer Park, was sentenced to eight months behind bars in the Albany Magistrate’s Court last Thursday after his fourth reckless driving conviction.

Appearing via video link from Albany Regional Prison, the 39-year-old was sentenced on more than a dozen charges from a string of incidents in the past year.

The most serious of them came from a June 18 pursuit, when Ryding exceeded the speed limit by 56km/h while attempting to evade police on a suspended licence.

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Bearing false number plates on his Holden Commodore sedan, Ryding drove into the undercover carpark of Denmark Supa IGA, on the corner of Strickland Street and North Street.

Ryding then parked next to another Holden Commodore, stealing the adjacent vehicle’s number plates and placing them on his car.

Travelling west on South Coast Highway, Ryding failed to stop for police, leading to the pursuit, which officers were forced to abandon after reaching 140km/h in an 80km/h zone.

A speed camera captured Ryding travelling at 146km/h in a 90km/h zone, 8.5km outside of Denmark.

On June 19, police spotted and impounded Ryding’s Commodore in Bow Bridge, but Ryding escaped by fleeing into nearby bush before being arrested at a Tindale Road property the next day. Ryding now has 34 driving offences against his name, including eight drink-driving charges and four counts of reckless driving.

Before handing down her sentence, Magistrate Raelene Johnston said Ryding’s extensive criminal record did not work in his favour.

“It is beyond comprehension why you committed these offen-ces,” she said.

“You put yourself and other road users in peril in the pursuit.”

Ryding was also sentenced for other offences last Thursday, including drugs and stealing charges.

He is due to be released in April after his sentence was backdated to the time of his arrest.

His licence was permanently disqualified.

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