A MAN who did a burnout in front of police before leading them on a high-speed pursuit has narrowly avoided jail.
Billy Joseph James, of Ashmont, appeared in Wagga Local Court on Monday after pleading guilty to performing a burnout, police pursuit and exceeding the speed limit by more than 45km/h.
Court documents state that just after midnight on February 3, the 18-year-old stopped his car at the end of Houtman Street, East Wagga, where he performed a burnout for a few seconds.
A marked police car then stopped in front of James' car.
He then sped towards police before suddenly going onto the wrong side of the road and driving past at high speeds.
Police then began a pursuit that went through central Wagga where James reached speeds of up to 165km/h.
He led police east onto Eunony Bridge Road before he went off-road into Brick Kiln Reserve.
Police followed for only a short distance before the pursuit was terminated. They then used 4WD vehicles to enter the reserve where they arrested James and three passengers.
James was fined $3371 and gained 11 demerit points.
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In court on Monday, magistrate Christopher Halburd convicted James and told him that the high-speed chase could have landed him in jail.
"The reason these police pursuit matters are so serious is that people can get killed," he said.
Mr Halburd said that because of his young age and the material in the psychological report, James was not appropriate "for sending the message of general deterrence to the rest of the community".
"Then again, I agree [with the defence lawyer] that what you need is some sort of coercive intervention to make sure that you do fully explore whatever the problem might be and take the appropriate action in relation to that," he said.
James was given a nine-month intensive corrections order that includes 100 hours of community service work.
He has also been disqualified from driving for two years.
James was also given a 12-month community corrections order for destroying the windscreen of a different car in December last year.