A Wagga magistrate has told a man who used a stolen ute as a weapon that he wished he could jail him for longer than allowed under sentencing law.
Kyle Wooden, 22, appeared in Wagga Local Court on Tuesday for sentencing after pleading guilty to several offences committed in May last year, including predatory driving and stealing a motor vehicle.
According to court documents, the three-hour crime spree began after he stole a white Toyota HiLux from outside a home on Mair Street in Turvey Park at 11.50pm on May 4.
Wooden then attempted to crash into police cars multiple times throughout the night.
At one point, he was driving north in the southbound lanes on Bourke Street before crossing back onto the correct side of the road and travelling at speed towards the rear of a fully marked police sedan with two officers inside.
The officer driving had to accelerate to avoid a crash. Wooden then chased the officers into Fernleigh Road before they ultimately pulled into a residential driveway to avoid the HiLux.
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Aboriginal Legal Service solicitor Louise Dart told the court Wooden, who had previously been employed as a youth support worker, suffered from depression and anxiety and had a "traumatic" upbringing.
This included being introduced to drugs at a young age and losing his brother in an accident which exacerbated his use of illegal substances.
"He is an educated man, and this adds to his good prospects of rehabilitation," Ms Dart said.
"Whilst Mr Wooden did not plead guilty at the first occasion; today he has expressed to me genuine remorse for his actions ... saying people's items shouldn't be taken and destroyed, particularly items they worked hard to pay for."
Ms Dart submitted that Wooden should be given an intensive corrections order to allow him to rehabilitate from his drug habit and move closer to family.
Magistrate Christopher Halburd rejected the suggestion that an ICO would adequately deal with the matter, saying that he was limited in the punishment he could hand down.
"I am frankly mystified as to why the police didn't elect to deal with this matter in the district court," he said.
"This court is limited to two years because it's the local court. That is the worst example of this type of offending I have seen.
"In relation to sequence four [using anoffensive weapon to prevent police investigation], I would give you much longer in jail if I could, but because it's in local court, I can't."
Wooden was given a combined sentence of 31 months in jail, backdated to begin from December 28. He faces a non-parole period of 17 months and is eligible for release on May 22, 2022.
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