Cobram teen in police chase

March 02, 2017

A Cobram teenager was arrested at the weekend for leading police on a high-speed car chase through Shepparton and hitting a pedestrian with his vehicle.

Marcus Heeman, 19, of Cobram, appeared in Shepparton Magistrates’ Court on Monday charged with six offences, including theft, reckless driving, excessive speed, driving in a dangerous manner and driving while disqualified.

Police prosecutor Leading Senior Constable Stuart Pritchard said Heeman’s dangerous night began in the early hours of Sunday when he allegedly hit an attendant at a Shepparton petrol station on Numurkah Rd who was attempting to stop him from driving off without paying.

‘‘The victim was unable to get out of the way of the accused’s vehicle and was carried on the vehicle’s bonnet for approximately 5m,’’ Leading Sen Const Pritchard said.

‘‘The accused then accelerated away at a fast rate of speed.’’

The court heard that after the hit-and-run, Heeman went speeding through the streets of Shepparton, even as police attempted to stop the vehicle.

‘‘The accused accelerated with a fast rate of speed west of Balaclava Rd, Shepparton, and reached speeds in excess of 120km/h,’’ Leading Sen Const Pritchard said.

‘‘This vehicle was travelling at more than double the speed of surrounding vehicles. Balaclava Rd is a 60km/h zone.’’

During a high-speed pursuit in which Heeman lost control of the vehicle ‘‘on numerous occasions’’, he nearly smashed into a police car on Gowrie St.

‘‘The accused also drove on the wrong side of the road towards a stationary police vehicle, placing the members in fear of their lives,’’ Leading Sen Const Pritchard said.

He said Heeman was aggressive towards police after he was arrested, and tested positive to having alcohol in his system.

‘‘The accused admitted to the offences and had no remorse,’’ he said.

Duty lawyer Karyn Werner said her client had become angry earlier in the night after getting into an argument with some friends.

‘‘Then he returned home and saw the (car) keys on the table,’’ Ms Werner said.

‘‘He didn’t have any money for petrol, hence the theft of the petrol.’’

She said he evaded police only because he knew he would be in trouble if he was caught, which he admitted was stupid in hindsight.

‘‘He is entering a plea of guilty at the earliest possible time,’’ she said.

Magistrate Stella Stuthridge bailed Heeman until his next court appearance on March 10, but under strict conditions, including not driving any vehicles and an evening curfew.

‘‘If police come to check on you, you have to be there,’’ she said.

—Barclay White

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