Richardson (left), McClay (top right) and Jessop-Warnes (bottom right).
Richardson (left), McClay (top right) and Jessop-Warnes (bottom right).

Fast and furious: Gympie’s most brazen police chases

FROM a man who stole a boat and got bogged trying to escape police, to a man whose two-year crime spree ended with a high speed police chase, here are five times Gympie offenders tried to outrun the law.

Gympie man leads police on high speed chase through M’boro

Incredibly stupid, dreadful and dangerous were just some of the words used to describe a Gympie man who led police on a high speed chase through Maryborough.

Just before midnight on April 25, police patrolling in Tinana were forced into a late night chase as a car they tried to pull over on a highway off ramp sped away from them.

Callum McClay pleaded guilty to evading police after he led them on a short but high speed chase in Maryborough.
Callum McClay pleaded guilty to evading police after he led them on a short but high speed chase in Maryborough.

The driver, Callum Robert McClay, 21, “took off’ when police approached his stopped car, and after they activated lights and sirens and indicated for him to pull over, he sped up.

For 300m the police chased McClay as he reached speeds of 146km/h in a 60 zone, a Gympie court heard this month.

McClay pleaded guilty to evading police by failing to stop a motor car when directed, driving without a licence, and disobeying the speed limit by more than 40km/h in a 60km/h zone. McClay was fined $6672.50, the minimum penalty for the offence, and he was disqualified from having a licence for two years.



Woman jailed after fleeing police in Gympie CBD

A Gympie woman who lied to police about her car being stolen after she fled from police in Gympie has been jailed.

Just before 2am on May 24, police patrolling in Gympie followed a silver Commodore out of the McDonald’s car park and north on the Bruce Highway, before pulling the car over.

Near the Cross Street and Bruce Highway intersection, the driver of the car, later revealed to be Rachel Michelle Finucane, 28, pulled over in a “dangerous” spot.

A police officer approached the passenger door, and told the driver through the window, which was open only a few centimetres, to turn into Cross Street and stop.

Police followed as Finucane drove off in the right direction, but she then sped off.

Finucane appeared in custody in Gympie Magistrates Court and pleaded guilty to evading police.

Magistrate Chris Callaghan sentenced her to 50 days jail, with a parole eligibility date of December 3.

She was also disqualified from driving for two years.


Corey Michael Jessop-Warnes
Corey Michael Jessop-Warnes

Gympie man steals boat, gets bogged trying to outrun police

A young Gympie man who breached COVID-restrictions to steal a boat and was caught after getting bogged trying to outrun police, had also been disqualified from driving.

On April 18, Corey Michael Jessop-Warnes stole a small boat from the Carlo Point boat ramp, but while trying to get it home a police patrol spotted him.

The 21-year-old drove away from police as they tried to pull him over, and as he tried to overtake them Jessop-Warnes spun into soft sand and became bogged.

Jessop-Warne was charged with driving unlicensed while on a court disqualification, stealing, evading police and obstructing police and was taken to the Gympie watch house.

Corey Michael Jessop-Warnes
Corey Michael Jessop-Warnes

During this time travel restrictions were in place for Queensland, and he was also charged with breaching a COVID-19 direction by leaving his house without a lawful reason.

Appearing by video from custody, Jessop-Warnes pleaded guilty in the Gympie Magistrates Court last month to all charges.

Mr Callaghan gave Jessop-Warnes a head sentence of 18 months imprisonment, to be released after serving six months.

Having been in pre-sentence custody for four months at the time of sentencing, Jessop-Warnes will be eligible for parole on November 28.


Man jailed after 2-year crime spree ended in high speed chase

A Gympie man who racked up almost 40 charges during a two-year crime spree which began and ended with police chases has been jailed.

The court heard police were patrolling Alexandra Hills in January 2018 when they spotted Ian Charles Victor Mcilvenna acting suspiciously while riding a motorbike, and realised he was trying to avoid being seen.

Officers followed Mcilvenna to a dead end where he mounted the footpath and continued to flee at speeds of 20-30km/h before hitting another dead end, dumping the bike and trying to run.

After trying to taser him, officers were able to arrest Mcilvenna who told them he had a homemade gun and a glass pipe in his pocket.

Almost two years later on November 20, 2019, Mcilvenna fled from police who were trying to arrest him on numerous offences including armed robbery, stealing and unlawful use of a car, the court heard.

Despite losing two tyres during the police chase, Mcilvenna drove through Gympie reaching speeds of 100km/h, crossed in and out of oncoming traffic, and headed onto the Bruce Highway travelling south.

He reached speeds of 150km/h until he hit traffic and tried to ram the back of a truck, which caused a crash and allowed police to catch him.

Mcilvenna, now 42, appeared in the dock of the Gympie Magistrates Court this month and pleaded guilty to all 37 charges.

Magistrate Chris Callaghan gave Mcilvenna a head sentence of two and half years, disqualified him driving or holding a licence for three and half years.

He will be eligible for parole in May, 2021.


Alec Richardson
Alec Richardson

Hoon driving mum’s car tried to outrun cops, now facing jail

A 20-year-old Gympie man has lost his licence for three years and has the threat of jail time hanging over his head after he tried to evade police while driving without a licence.

A day trip to Rainbow Beach ended in a police chase for Alec Gordon Richardson, after police caught him driving recklessly while on a suspended licence.

On March 7, this year police patrolling the area saw Richardson fishtailing and speeding in a beachfront carpark on Rainbow Beach Road, and tried to pull him over, the Gympie court heard earlier this year.

Richardson sped off down the street trying to evade police, before turning off the road on to a dirt track, which turned out to be a dead end.

While he was trying to do a U-turn, police were able to corner him and he admitted to panicking and trying to escape as he had been driving without a licence.

He pleaded guilty in Gympie Magistrates Court to driving without a licence while on a court disqualification.

Richardson was sentenced to six months in prison, released on immediate parole and disqualified from driving or holding a licence for three years.