Police find speedster hiding in dog kennel
A 20-YEAR-old driver who was chased by police down the Pacific Hwy and found hiding in a dog kennel at Swan Creek has a few months to think about the consequences of his flagrant disregard for the road rules.
Paul William Watson, of Fishing Point, near Newcastle, was sentenced to 18 months jail when he appeared via video link in Grafton Local Court yesterday. He faced 20 charges involving traffic offences, assaults, drugs charges and resisting arrest.
When police finally captured him after a pursuit through Ulmarra to Swan Creek on November 27, he was found to be a disqualified driver who had six outstanding arrest warrants for a string of driving offences and assaults in the Newcastle area in the previous 12 months.
Two of the assaults occurred in his family home when he attacked his father and mother on Christmas Day and Boxing Day 2012 because they tried to stop him from driving while disqualified.
Watson's green Mazda sedan came to police attention when he was travelling south near roadworks north of Ulmarra.
Police travelling in the opposite direction did a speed check on the car and turned around to pull the driver over.
Instead Watson sped off, crossing to the wrong side of the road to overtake a vehicle. Police estimated he was travelling 80-100kmh as he went past Ulmarra Public School.
After reaching the southern outskirts of the town, police began a pursuit that saw Watson's car reach speeds of about 150kmh.
At Swan Creek they lost sight of his car, but were convinced he was nearby.
A witness took them to the abandoned vehicle and a search located Watson hiding in a dog kennel. A struggle ensued as police removed him from his hiding spot.
When asked why he had driven so recklessly, he said: "I'm sorry, it was stupid. I'm disqualified and I didn't show up for court."
Watson was sentenced to 18 months' jail from November 27, with a non-parole period of four months. .He was also disqualified from driving for three years.