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‘E’ plate driver jailed for evading police

Kate FieldingSouth Western Times
Police were forced to abort the chase.
Camera IconPolice were forced to abort the chase. Credit: Graphic / South Western Times

A Bunbury man driving with an extraordinary licence when he evaded police because he thought he would get a yellow sticker for his loud exhaust has been jailed.

Luke Dylan Scarlett, 26, was told in Bunbury Magistrates Court on Thursday that he had “driven” himself to jail after he made the decision not to stop for police on August 24 last year.

Scarlett drove past a police car near Glen Iris about 4.45pm on the day of the pursuit when a plate recognition device prompted police to activate their lights and siren.

The court was told, Scarlett accelerated heavily, crossing to the incorrect side of the road to pass cars on double white lines and reaching speeds of up to 160km/h on Willinge and Estuary drives to evade police.

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Police were forced to abort the chase. Scarlett handed himself in to police two days later when he admitted to the incident and told officers he was worried he would get a yellow sticker.

Scarlett pleaded guilty to reckless driving, failing to comply with a direction to stop and driving contrary to the conditions of a licence.

Defence lawyer Paul Chapman said Scarlett realised he was now in a “much worse” situation as he faced a mandatory jail term.

Mr Chapman said Scarlett had been upfront about the incident and references from his employer showed he was highly regarded.

Magistrate David MacLean said it appeared Scarlett was remorseful and insightful about the incident but his actions were a “shocking” error of judgement.

Magistrate MacLean said Scarlett had exposed innocent people to serious injury or death and there was no discretion in jailing him.

Scarlett was sentenced to six months and one day behind bars, but was made eligible for parole.

He was also fined $5000 plus costs and had his licence disqualified for two years.

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