EXTREME DANGER: Court told driver posed 'significant' risk
A MAN charged with a police pursuit in Lismore has been remanded in custody after an emotional appearance in court.
BEAU Alexander Smith, 30, appeared in the dock of Lismore Local Court yesterday after a pursuit which ended in police cars being damaged on Tuesday morning.
Dressed in prison greens, Mr Smith exchanged greetings with his partner, young child and mother from the dock.
Mr Smith has been charged with two counts of driving dangerously, two counts of destroying or damaging property, engaging in a police pursuit, using an offensive weapon to prevent lawful detention and driving a vehicle without ever having held a licence.
His solicitor Philip Crick applied for bail on Mr Smith's behalf, and the prosecution made no objection to this.
Mr Crick said Mr Smith's strong ties to the community, and his responsibility in helping his partner to care for their young, sick child, meant it was important for his client to be granted bail.
He said that freedom would also allow Mr Smith to apply for a Merit assessment to address a "substance abuse disorder".
But Magistrate David Heilpern said Mr Smith, who the court heard had been using methamphetamine for the past two months, posed an unacceptable risk if released on bail.
"There was an extreme danger to other members of the community," Mr Heilpern said.
"This is an overwhelmingly strong prosecution case.
"If convicted, he'll likely be spending a significant time in jail.
"There is a significant risk to the community ... if he is granted bail."
Police will allege three police cars were damaged in the pursuit.
They said Mr Smith was driving a red Toyota Camry on Ballina Rd at Lismore Heights when he struck a woman's green Ford station wagon about 10.50am.
The Camry was later seen driving on the wrong side of the road on Brewster St and Mr Smith allegedly drove toward police before taking off at speed.
Police began a pursuit on Wolstenholm St, and in Albert Park Mr Smith allegedly hit fences before driving across the sports field and into a police car.
The Camry allegedly hit another boundary fence near Keen St, and damaged two more police cars before coming to a stop.
No-one was injured.
Mr Smith and his loved ones wept as the severity of the matter was discussed in court.
He will remain in custody and will appear via video link on March 26.