A Kendall man has been handed an aggregate sentence of 16 months jail, with a backdated non-parole period of eight months, for a string of offences including resisting arrest and assaulting police.
Jack Kaleb Austin, 26, was charged with failing to stop in a police pursuit, drive while disqualified, resist police officer, assault police officer in execution of duty, cause actual bodily harm, damage property, drive with illicit drug present in system, drive unregistered vehicle and breach community corrections order.
Because of time already served, he is now on parole.
Court documents show that about 4.29pm on November 15, 2021, police were conducting patrols on High Street, Wauchope, when they saw Austin driving an unregistered vehicle.
When police attempted to stop the car, it "accelerated harshly away."
The two officers activated their lights and sirens and initiated a pursuit in which Austin reached speeds of 100km/h in an 80km/h zone, causing vehicles to veer to the side of the road to let him pass.
The pursuit continued along Kings Creek Road before Austin turned the vehicle onto a property and drove through a fence, effectively damaging it.
He continued driving towards a creek bed, where he got out of the car and started running.
Police pursued on foot, catching up with him in the creek. A struggle ensued, during which one officer's head went underwater. He also suffered cuts to his hand.
Officers eventually gained control and placed Austin in handcuffs.
He appeared to have bloodshot eyes, and admitted that he had been taking drugs and driving while disqualified.
Austin was taken to Port Macquarie Police Station, where he tested positive to amphetamine, methylamphetamine and acid.
The 26-year-old was also on a community corrections order for driving while disqualified and carrying an offensive implement in a public place, in November last year.
Austin appeared before Magistrate Georgina Darcy for sentencing on September 29, 2022, at Port Macquarie Local Court.
Magistrate Darcy said she took into account his pleas of guilty in relation to the fresh matters and the eight months he had already spent in custody.
"Unfortunately these matters not only include driving while disqualified, but more serious offences including the police pursuit," she said.
"The assault occasioning actual bodily harm to the police officer occurred when the officer threw a punch. It's unusual because he sustained the injury when trying to defend himself."
Magistrate Darcy said it's a "serious offence" when a police officer receives an injury while carrying out their duties.
"The police officer who was trying to detain you ultimately received a large laceration when he was trying to stop his head from going underwater after you had run from him," she said.
"It did take the police considerable force to apprehend you.
"Hopefully that period in custody has allowed you to reflect on where your life was heading," she said.
"There is a need in the police assault matter for general deterrents so people understand that when you assault a police officer, penalties will flow."
"In respect to the breaches of the community corrections order and the fresh matters, I impose an aggregate sentence of imprisonment of 16 months, with a non-parole period of eight months which is backdated to January 29, 2022," she said.
"The parole period of eight months starts from today."
Austin has also been disqualified from driving for two years for the police pursuit.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.