Offender jailed for high speed chase

A MOUNT Gambier man who became involved in a police pursuit in the city has been sentenced to seven months and two weeks in prison.

Nathan Barry Lutton, 41, appeared in the Mount Gambier Magistrates Court on Wednesday to be sentenced for driving dangerously to escape police pursuit and driving unlicensed.

The prosecution said Lutton was driving on Pressey Street at 1.30am on June 20 when he was spotted by a police officer.

The patrol attempted to stop the defendant, however he sped off down Lake Terrace East.

Police believed Lutton was travelling at speeds close to 130kph in a 110kph zone, however the defendant admitted his speed would have reached 180kph.

Lutton turned left on Yahl Road and then left on Jubilee Highway East before police terminated the pursuit due to the danger to the community.

He continued travelling at high speeds colliding with a median strip before the car was dumped a short distance away.

The prosecution said the defendant turned his lights off during the pursuit.

The defendant’s lawyer said Lutton was concerned about going to jail because he had three dogs who were his closest companions.

“He is worried about what might happen to them,” the defendant’s lawyer said.

The defendant’s lawyer also said Lutton had begun stabilising his life and jail would ruin that stability.

“There is very little to lose and a lot to gain by leaving him in the community,” he said.

Magistrate Teresa Anderson said the defendant knew he wasn’t allowed to drive and the time for leniency had passed.

“The occupants of the vehicle were very frightened and the risk of injury to you or them was very high,” Magistrate Anderson said.

Magistrate Anderson also cited the fact Lutton had not completed any community service that he had been given for a previous sentence.

“None of this applies any confidence that you will do anything about your drug abuse problem,” Magistrate Anderson said.

“People involved in police pursuits need to understand that they are likely to go to jail.”

Lutton was sentenced to seven month and two weeks imprisonment to be served.

He was also convicted and fined $50 for driving unlicensed.

His licence will also be disqualified for two years on release.