Former chef sped off because he knew he’d go back to jail
A MAN who led police on a chase through Ballina's main street was on parole for similar charges, a court heard.
Jak Mclean, 29, appeared in Tweed Heads Local Court by videolink from Clarence Correctional Centre on July 22 to plead guilty to police pursuit and driving while disqualified.
He also pleaded guilty to failing to appear in court, and possessing cannabis and a taser from separate incidents.
Court documents revealed Mclean drew the attention of police when he noisily accelerated in a Black Suburu out of the River St service station in Ballina about 5.20pm on December 14, 2019.
Police say Mclean was seen to look in his mirrors at the police car's lights and sirens and sped off down nearby streets.
At an intersection on Tamar St, Mclean's car became airborne when he crashed into a traffic island, damaging one of his rear tyres and the exhaust.
Police lost sight of the car as Mclean accelerated down a side street.
CCTV footage taken of the car on Bolding St clearly identified the driver as Mclean because of the distinctive tattoos on his stomach and left forearm.
Defence solicitor Kate Brady said Mclean was on parole and disqualified from driving when he saw police and knew he would be going back to jail.
The court heard Mclean's then-partner had a baby while he was in custody and his mother had been diagnosed with cancer so he wanted to stay in the community to spend time with family.
Ms Brady said the father-of three was a recovering ice addict.
She said while the former pastry chef had been in prison he had transformed himself, focusing on his mental and physical wellbeing and was training twice a day.
"I've represented him a number of times previously and when he came on the screen I didn't recognise him because he looked so well," Ms Brady said.
Magistrate Geoff Dunlevy imposed a head sentence of 18 months' imprisonment, with a non parole period of 12 months.
Mclean will be eligible for parole on March 21, 2021.