Prison term for stealing motorcycle

A 20-year-old man has been jailed for a year after admitting to the aggravated taking of a motorcycle.

The Supreme Court heard that Lawrence Smith, of Paget, drove the bike at a police officer and damaged it against a wall when officers attempted to stop him on December 19, 2017.

Smith was caught riding the vehicle the day after he was spotted taking the motorcycle from Spring Hill, Warwick, accompanied by another man.

According to Crown counsel Maria Sofianos, Smith and his passenger were stopped at Khyber Pass in Warwick within an hour of their descriptions being broadcast by police.

Smith was recognised, but accelerated when police tried to stop him, cutting between the police car and a retaining wall.

The officer had to avoid being struck, and both men fell off and fled the scene when the bike hit the wall, damaging the vehicle.

Smith could be seen running from police on footage taken from a home security camera, and he was arrested on December 22.

Acting Puisne Judge Juan Wolffe heard that Smith had similar offences from October 2013 and January 2015, as well as a bladed article offence in July 2017, committed while he was on probation.

His parole officer reported him to the courts in April 2018 for failing to comply with probation, and he was deemed “unsuitable for community supervision”, Ms Sofianos said.

The Crown called for 18 to 24 months’ imprisonment, but defence lawyer Elizabeth Christopher said that the case had only ended up in the higher court because of the relatively minor damage to the bike, and said six to nine months was a more appropriate term.

Ms Christopher added: “It’s only a sliver that made the difference between this matter being in the Supreme Court and Magistrates’ Court.”

Mr Justice Wolffe said he would consider the defendant’s youth and his guilty plea, and imposed a sentence of one year, with time spent in custody included.

It is /The Royal Gazette’s policy not to allow comments on stories regarding criminal court cases. This is to prevent any statements being published that may jeopardise the outcome of that case.

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