A teenage girl has been told she's lucky to be alive after hitting road spikes and flipping a stolen car during a police pursuit that reached speeds of 200km/h.
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The 16-year-old is not identified for legal reasons and was present in Orange Children's Court to be sentenced for 21 offences, including domestic violence and a year-long crime spree involving stolen cars and the theft of $40,000 worth of cigarettes.
Magistrate Peter Thompson said he hoped the teenager, who was 15 at the time of the offences, learns from her close call and takes advantage of the opportunities she's being given to start a new chapter.
"You walked away without a scratch, you are lucky and you've got opportunities," Mr Thompson said.
"These matters are said to have a profound impact on you, I don't know if it has changed you, I hope it has in a good way.
"I hope you understand how lucky you were to walk away."
According to court documents, police were tracking a different stolen car on January 6, 2023, when the teenager, from Orange, became involved in the pursuit on the Great Western Highway at Bowenfels at 6.30am.
The police had received a message over their radio at 6am about a stolen Range Roger 4WD travelling east along the highway towards Lithgow. The vehicle location was being tracked by the owner's mobile phone, which was in the vehicle when it was stolen.
Responding police saw the Range Rover travelling at 130km/h in a 110km/h area with a white Subaru Forester, driven by the girl, travelling close behind.
Police attempted to stop the Range Rover but both vehicles accelerated and it became evident they were together and neither were going to stop for the police.
A pursuit was initiated and the Subaru overtook the Range Rover with both cars accelerating up to 200km/h in a 110km/h area, and then into the 100km/h area. The pursuit was terminated due to excessive speed.
However, other police set up road spikes on the highway near Cooerwull Road, Bowenfels.
The Range Rover missed the road spikes, lost control and then regained it before continuing in an easterly direction.
However, the teenage girl hit the road spikes and lost control. The Subaru slid sideways at high speed before hitting a metal guardrail. The car flipped mid-air over the guardrail and came to rest over the side of an embankment. It was demolished in the crash.
Police ran down to the vehicle and saw the girl in the driver's seat and a second young person in the passenger seat. Neither were trapped and they were removed by the police.
The driver was removed first and was not injured. The passenger was then removed and complained of sore wrists and kidney pains. She was taken by ambulance to Lithgow hospital where she underwent scans before being released without any serious injuries.
The driver tested positive to cannabis. She was arrested and police discovered she had seven outstanding warrants.
"You are an inexperienced driver, not experienced at driving with those speeds on the road," Mr Thompson said.
"This is excessively dangerous behaviour, do you understand you are lucky to walk away with your life and unhurt?
"If an adult came before me for this, they would be serving a sentence for as long as I could send them for."
He gave the girl a suspended control order for four months, without a conviction, for driving the stolen car, and the police pursuit.
It was the first time the girl had appeared in court to have offences finalised.
"Today is going to give some sort of closure, it's going to give you a new chapter in your life," Mr Thompson said.
"Today is the day that you start moving forward in your life, it's up to you, you get a fresh start today."
Mr Thompson also sentenced her for a series of other offences which started in January last year when she was a passenger in a stolen car on the Great Western Highway at Mount Druitt.
On that occasion the driver merged and side-swiped a Holden Commodore sedan damaging the front of the other car and the back of the stolen car.
A month later the teenager was involved in a more serious offence when she and four other young co-offenders stole a car from McLachlan Street Orange on Monday, February 8, 2022, and used it to commit a string of crimes across the Central West.
According to court documents, the girl smash a back window of a McLachlan Street house and took three sets of keys that were inside at 1.15am.
She was with four other young co-offenders and one of the keys was used to steal a 2016 Red Mazda sedan that was parked outside the address.
The girl put fuel into the car at 1.30am at a petrol station on Molong Road without paying.
At 3.45am the group broke into the Caltex petrol station at Trangie. A brick was thrown through the front glass sliding doors.
The group stole a cash register, cash till, computer hard drive and $550 in assorted Australian cash that was in the cash register.
They triggered the duress alarm at 3.49am and 000 was contacted but the young person and co-offenders had left before police arrived.
The same group was involved in another break and enter at the BP petrol station at Narromine at 4.15am. On that occasion the front glass door was smashed again and once inside the girl jumped onto the counter and with assistance from others in the group stole about $40,000 in cigarette packets.
From Narromine they travelled to Dubbo where they made a smash and grab break and enter at Platypus shoes. They smashed the front glass doors at 4.41am and grabbed a number of right-hand, non-complete shoe sets, from the display shelves and about eight boxes of shoes, as well as the empty cash register before leaving at 4.43am.
The teenager was still in the car when it was involved in a police pursuit upon re-entering Orange at 5.56am but police terminated the pursuit at the intersection of the Northern Distributor Road and Leeds Parade due to dangerous driving.
The car was destroyed by fire about 6.20am at Paul Park off Victoria Street, Orange.
Although she got away that night, the girl was arrested on Sunday, March 6, 2022, in Dubbo after being a passenger in a police pursuit.
Mr Thompson gave the girl 15 months of probation for the break and enter at the house, stealing the red Mazda sedan, being carried in a stolen car, and the three business break and enters.
The girl had no criminal record at the time of that offence and Mr Thompson dismissed with a caution the charge for stealing $15 worth of petrol from Orange and not appearing in court when required.
She has also been ordered not to associate with any of the co-offenders.
The teenager stole more petrol, this time in Bathurst, when she was a passenger in a stolen black BMW series 1 on August 28, 2022.
That car was stolen from Orange, after another young person, who is known to police, broke into a Byng Street house and stole the keys sometime between 11.30am August 27 and 6.30am on August 28.
"One of those cars that was stolen had an impact on a single mum who struggled to get her kids to school and do things," Mr Thompson said.
"How do you feel about it? Do you feel bad?"
In addition to the offences involving stolen cars, the teenager also assaulted her mother twice, punching her in the face both times.
On May 27, 2022, the girl got into an argument with her mother when her mother told her not to smoke in the house.
The teenager punched her mother in the face, grabbed her by the neck with her hands and when the victim was able to remove her hands the girl grabbed a knife from the kitchen and said, "don't think I won't stab you."
Her mother took the knife from her and called the police.
The girl punched her mother again and assaulted her brother on November 16, 2022, which also put her in contravention of an apprehended violence order.
On that occasion she went to her mother's house and asked for $70, when her mother refused to give her the cash they got into an argument and the girl punched her mother in the nose.
Her brother then came outside to separate them. The mother went back inside and while her brother tried to calm her down the girl spat on him. When he also went inside she grabbed a red baseball bat and smashed two front windows of her mother's house and two front windows of the house next door.
The final offence the girl was sentenced for in the children's court was assaulting a police officer on December 3, 2022.
On that occasion she was being arrested when she repeatedly yelled out at a young co-offender to "spit on the c--ts".
Police warned her she was committing an offence and she said, "I don't give a f--k c--ksucker".
The other young person spat at the police.
Mr Thompson did not convict the girl for any of the offences, some of the more minor offences were dismissed with a caution while others required periods of good behaviour and for her to meet conditions including to obtain employment or training.
"Get some work and get some money," he said.
"All these matters occurred in the early hours of the morning, there's nothing for you to do, there's nothing to do in this town after 10pm."
He also reminded her she was banned from associating with her co-offenders, all but one of whom received custodial sentences.
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