BIRTHDAY boy Thomas Georgy Melbourne celebrated his 20th by taking mates on a joy ride in a stolen car.
The rejoicing ended with Melbourne behind bars and contemplating months in jail as serious charges against the P-plate driver from Matong mounted up.
Melbourne’s rapid slide into strife with the law began on July 10 when he sped away from police on Red Hill Road.
Driving a Toyota Hilux utility with fake number plates, Melbourne tore through the streets of Tatton and Springvale, cutting corners and crossing onto the wrong side of the road with a police car in pursuit.
Cornered in a cul-de-sac, Melbourne reversed his ute into the police car at 20 kilometres an hour, causing significant damage to the vehicle’s front nearside and bonnet.
Melbourne took off again, and in Featherwood Road he drove on the wrong side of the road, forcing another police car off the bitumen to avoid a collision.
Melbourne turned into Genista Place, another cul-de-sac, and this time drove through the end of the street onto a reserve chased by a police four-wheel-drive.
The pursuit came to an end when the ute became bogged in the steep and muddy reserve.
Police found three other people in the car ute when they arrested Melbourne.
Melbourne pleaded guilty in Wagga Local Court on August 31 to driving in a dangerous manner, police pursuit, driving an unregistered and uninsured vehicle and displaying an unauthorised number plate.
On bail – with one of the conditions being he not occupy the driver’s seat of a vehicle – Melbourne was ordered to be assessed for an intensive correction order.
He breached his bail on Tuesday, his 20th birthday, when police found him using a jack to try to lift a car out of a deep muddy hole.
The car had been stolen from North Wagga on Monday night and Melbourne told police he came across the vehicle with its engine running in Ashmont.
He drove it to Matong and picked up friends for a joyride that ended with the stolen car becoming bogged.
Melbourne faced court on Wednesday via videolink with the courthouse cells.
His solicitor, David Rofe, applied for bail, submitting that a jail sentence was not inevitable, Melbourne had strong local ties, would observe a curfew, would live at Matong and was prepared to live essentially under house arrest.
But magistrate Michael Crompton refused Melbourne’s release, saying he was not satisfied conditions could mitigate against the risks of granting Melbourne bail.
Melbourne will stay in custody at least until his scheduled sentence date of October 14.