Byron Bay Court House
Byron Bay Court House

Convicted carjacker behind bars, ordered to pay police

A MAN who carjacked a visitor in Byron Bay in January will spend two years behind bars.

Ashley Lee, 34, was sentenced last month for unlawfully taking and driving a motor vehicle with person in it after he stole a white Subaru Impreza on January 19 this year.

He was also convicted for taking and driving a car without consent, police pursuit, failing to comply with a request to stop, driving with a suspended licence and refusing to submit to a breath test and a breath analysis.

The Coffs Harbour man had entered the driver's seat of the Subaru while its passenger-seat occupant, a 51-year-old woman, waited in the underground car park of the Mercato shopping centre in Byron Bay shortly after 12pm.

According to court documents, Lee repeatedly told the shocked woman to get out of the car.

She ultimately left the vehicle, but took photos on her phone of her vehicle, two of which showed Lee in the driver's seat.

Highway Patrol officers spotted the vehicle on The Coast Rd at Skennars Head about 15 minutes later.

Lee turned onto Skennars Head Rd and while police tried to stop him, he proceeded onto North Creek Rd before getting back on The Coast Rd and heading back north.

After he turned down Ross Lane, police deployed road spikes and while Lee drove onto the wrong side of the road, two tyres were spiked, and the car came to a stop.

Court documents detail Lee driving at or below the speed limit throughout the pursuits.

When he was taken from the vehicle and arrested, he told police: "I've done nothing wrong".

But he then refused a breath test and a breath analysis.

Lee will be eligible for parole in January 2021 and his licence was disqualified for 12 months.

The court also ordered Lee to pay $935 in compensation to the NSW Police for the road spike device used to apprehend him.

Lee also pleaded guilty last month to destroying or damaging property and was ordered to pay $2750 to Mercato on Byron for the damages.