Cop chase crash: Court hears lotto winner’s downward spiral
THE law has caught up with a Gold Coast man who crashed his car while trying to speed away from police in Tweed Heads last year.
Stephen James Wong in Tweed Heads Local Court on Wednesday pleaded guilty to eight charges including police pursuit, custody of a knife in a public place and resist officer in execution of duty.
The court heard Wong, 34, fled from police in his Subaru WRX after they attempted to stop him on Hillcrest Ave, Tweed Heads South on June 15.
Wong drove about 80km/h south on Hillcrest Ave, hitting several speed humps so fast, his car left the ground and sparks flew from underneath the car when it landed.
The short-lived car chase ended when Wong lost control on a sweeping, left-hand bend and crashed into a barrier.
As police approached the car, they yelled at Wong and the passenger to get out of the car, but both refused.
Wong was forcibly removed from the car and struggled on the ground as police attempted to handcuff him.
A police search of the car found a large silver knife and a shoulder bag with about 20 prescription pills including cabaser, vidalista and Xanax.
Defence lawyer Amanda Fawaz said her client had struggled with drug addiction since he won the lottery more than 10 years ago.
Ms Fawaz said the "significant" win opened the door for Wong to a new world of taking illegal drugs in his hometown of Sydney.
She said he moved to the Gold Coast for a fresh start, however, Wong suffered a workplace back injury in 2017, which started a downward spiral into prescription medication addiction.
"He has had no drugs since the day of the offence and wishes to be assessed for a drug relapse program," Ms Fawaz said.
Magistrate Michael Dakin slammed the argument for rehabilitation, citing Wong had struggled with drug addiction and had a poor to moderate prospect of rehabilitation.
Wong was convicted and sentenced to an Intensive Corrections Order for eight months, a Community Corrections Order for two years, disqualified from driving for two years and fined $1000.