9 January 2023

Bail refused for men accused of 'very dangerous' police chase on deflated tyres

| Albert McKnight
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ACT Law Courts

Joel Lonergan, 31, and Jaydon Chauveau, 19, have both been refused bail. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

Two men are accused of continuing what had allegedly been a high-speed, interstate police chase even when the front tyres of their stolen car were blown out.

Police started chasing the speeding Ford Falcon on the Federal Highway in NSW at around 11 pm on Saturday (7 January), court documents allege.

ACT Policing took over the matter when the stolen car crossed into Canberra and allegedly travelled at high speeds along the Monaro Highway, then went through a red light while on Hindmarsh Drive.

A tyre deflation device was used to deflate its two front tyres, but the Falcon allegedly continued to flee, speeding onto Yamba Drive even while smoke emitted from its fully-deflated tyres.

It allegedly drove at 80 km/h in a 60 km/h zone with its destroyed tyres.

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Police ended their pursuit but soon found the Falcon outside a home in Isaacs with the engine still running.

Joel Lonergan, 31, was inside the home opposite the car’s location, while 19-year-old Jaydon Chauveau was found in bushes nearby.

Both were arrested over the incident and applied for bail in the ACT Magistrates Court on Monday (9 January).

Chauveau’s lawyer, Emilia Currey from the Aboriginal Legal Service, argued it was not clear who was alleged to have been driving the Falcon.

The duty lawyer for Lonergan said the father-of-two was supposed to start work again as a plumber on Monday and faced a hearing for matters in NSW next week, for which he could be remanded in custody if found guilty.

However, Magistrate Glenn Theakston said the allegations outlined “very, very dangerous driving”, and it would be an understatement to describe the driver as having a total disregard for the public.

“This type of behaviour puts people’s lives at risk,” he said.

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Magistrate Theakston found there were no special or exceptional circumstances to justify the granting of bail, refused it and remanded both in custody to 30 January.

He did note there was a question about who was alleged to have been driving the car.

Chauveau was charged with two counts of dishonestly driving a stolen vehicle as well as single counts of trespass, while Lonergan was handed two counts of dishonestly riding in a stolen vehicle as well as one count of trespass.

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Were they given a Vehicle Defect Notice for the front tyres?

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