Clarence Crime generic
Clarence Crime generic Jenna Thompson

No bail for drink-driver after police pursuit in Grafton

"FEARFUL" of facing the consequences of his actions, a man who led police on a dangerous chase through Grafton's busy streets was refused bail in Grafton Local Court.

Daniel Dominic O'Neill was wanted by police on warrants after failing to appear in Maclean Local Court for other recent charges and Downing Local Court for charges from 2018.

On Friday night, police nabbed the 23-year-old Irish man driving an unregistered vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.

Just before 7pm police followed O'Neill through Grafton streets engaging in a pursuit along busy Clarence St when he refused to stop.

According to facts tendered to the court, O'Neill abruptly crossed unbroken lines from Fitzroy St on to Clarence St and sped towards Victoria St where he stopped the car and attempted to avoid arrest by running from the scene.

Police tackled O'Neill to the ground who fought back, lashing out and scratching one of the officers.

O'Neill later tested positive for 0.135 blood alcohol content.

In court on Tuesday, O'Neill appeared via video link from Grafton Correctional Centre and pleaded guilty to police pursuit, mid-range PCA, driving while disqualified, resisting an officer in the execution of duty and driving an unregistered vehicle.

His representative Mark Savic told the court he was a young man who "feared" facing up to his actions, having avoided doing so since being charged in 2018.

"He buried his head in the sand and sought solace in alcohol," Mr Savic said.

"He's had the benefit of the last few days in a correctional centre … he knows if he breaches one more time, he has no hope of getting bail."

"The one common factor" in all of O'Neill's offending, Mr Savic said, was a drinking problem for which he needed help.

He said O'Neill "lost control" and made "stupid decisions" under the influence.

Magistrate Kathy Crittenden said despite his age and this being his first time in custody, O'Neill presented an "unacceptable risk" of failing to appear at his next court date and reoffending.

Ms Crittenden refused bail and O'Neill will next appear at Grafton Local Court on March 2 to be sentenced.

 

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