Magistrate deems accused driver ‘unacceptable risk’

A P-PLATE driver who police accuse of going on a high speed drive though Ipswich suburbs has been refused bail because of the dangers he allegedly poses.

The man faces seven counts of dangerous driving, with a court hearing stingers allegedly had to be used to stop him on one occasion.

Stephen Edward Stockwell, 34, a former Dubbo resident now living in Ipswich, appeared before Ipswich Magistrates Court via video-link from the police watch-house on seven charges that he dangerously operated a motor vehicle when adversely affected by an intoxicating substance on Tuesday, June 30; two counts of evading police; failing to provide a breath or blood specimen for testing; driving when unlicensed from a previous speeding offence; and possession of dangerous drugs.

Prosecutor, Senior Sergeant Trent Voigt said police strongly opposed bail citing the danger that Stockwell posed to the public.

"In four days from November 17-21 last year he accumulated 10 speeding offences and drove through red lights," Sgt Voigt said.

"He was seen on the wrong side of the road driving dangerously and continued when police were trying to intercept.

"It wasn't him who came to his senses. He only stopped when tyre deflation devices were used.

"He says in admission he was under the influence of drugs.

"He shows a complete disregard for road rules."

Snr Sgt Voight said Stockwell was subject to a high speed licence suspension at the time of the alleged offences.

"If he receives bail he poses a further risk, putting the public in danger," he said.

In making a bail application, defence lawyer Matthew Fairclough said Stockwell was taking antipsychotic medication.

"He instructs that the substance police found in his possession, Subutex, he has a prescription for," Mr Fairclough said.

"His NSW history doesn't disclose significant recent offences for driving matters."

"While he is from NSW he has been in Ipswich 12 months, and in a relationship with the person who gave him the vehicle."

Magistrate Virginia Sturgess said police were alleging Stockwell's episode of dangerous driving occurred at 10pm through Ipswich, and involved evading police, driving erratically, and going through red lights while subject to a high-speed licence suspension.

"He has significant criminal history in NSW. He received a three-year prion term for reckless wounding and a four-year term in 2013 for robbery in company, cause wounding offences," Ms Sturgess said.

"In 2015 he faced assault, armed with intent, and stalking charges."

Ms Sturgess said Stockwell held only a P2 licence and in November last year faced six charges for speeding, with two exceeding the speed limit by more than 30km/h, and one exceeding the speed limit by more than 40km/h. There was also a fail to stop for police offence.

Ms Sturgess said she found Stockwell to be an unacceptable risk in endangering people's safety and refused his bail application.

His case was adjourned to July 22 for mention.



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