News

Jail time for 'love' crimes

court
court file

A 34-YEAR-old man sentenced to 15 months jail said he committed an eight-day spree of crimes that ended in a failed carjacking on the Pacific Hwy at Mororo "for love".

Christopher John Elkerton, of Ferny Grove in Queensland, appeared in Grafton Local Court on Monday facing a string of charges following a week-long crime spree in company with his girlfriend Tamyka Blatch, 23, and a 15-year-old boy.

The spree began in Ballina on March 31, continued in Evans Head, South Grafton and Coffs Harbour on April 2, and ended with their arrest at Mororo late on Friday.

>> RELATED STORY: Police pursuit end of the road for crime spree

Elkerton pleaded guilty to five charges including larceny, shoplifting, and dishonesty for the offences on March 31 and April 2.

He also pleaded guilty to being involved in a police pursuit, driving in manner dangerous and driving without a licence for Friday's police pursuit.

His solicitor, Greg Coombes, said his client committed the crimes he was charged with because he loved Blatch and she encouraged him.

Police said they spotted the trio's vehicle, a black Toyota RAV4, which they knew had been involved in the crimes, parked on the shoulder of the highway near Clarenza.

Police followed the vehicle before attempting to pull it over near Maclean.

Instead Elkerton accelerated away, reaching a speed of 127kmh driving on the wrong side of the highway heading north.

After 30 seconds Elkerton veered back onto the northbound lane before crossing the Mororo Bridge.

Police deployed road spikes on the exit from the Mororo Bridge, which deflated a front tyre.

Despite this, Elkerton continued driving at high speed, overtaking at least two vehicles.

Police said the vehicle left a trail of debris along the highway, indicating it was a matter of time before the vehicle would stop.

Police saw the vehicle swerve into the path of a southbound white van, forcing it to stop.

Elkerton left the RAV4 and approached the van carrying a "package" in his hand.

Police converged on the scene and Elkerton ran across a flood drain into a field, pursued by police.

Trapped against a fence, he turned to face his pursuers and fought furiously before he was wrestled to the ground and handcuffed.

His alleged accomplice Blatch appeared separately, yesterday. She pleaded guilty to three charges of larceny, shoplifting and dishonesty.

Her case was adjourned until May 2 to hear a more serious change of using a weapon in company.

Magistrate Jeff Linden described the crimes as brazen and Elkerton's criminal history as lamentable.

He sentenced him to 15 months jail with nine months non-parole for the stealing offences and six months and three months for the driving matters.

The 15-year-old boy with the couple was released without charge.

Topics:  crime spree grafton court jail mororo pacific highway police pursuit road spikes


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Focus on bush foods as demand grows

Demand for bush foods continues to increase.

Bush foods will be the centre of attention in a two-day workshop

199 home sites approved in Evans Head

The Evans Head Manufactured Home Estate plans. Zoran Architecture.

Manufactured Home estate approved near aerodrome

Teen actor stars in The Dark Tower

BIG SCREEN: Alstonville's Nicholas Hamilton will be seen in some exciting films this year.

Alstonville's Nicholas Hamilton is part of the cast of the film.

Local Partners

Reese Witherspoon on being a ‘has-been’ at 36

REESE Witherspoon might have an Oscar on her mantle and made millions at the box office but that hasn’t stopped people declaring her career is over.

RECAP: Game of Thrones s7 e6 - Beyond the Wall

Kristofer Hivju, Kit Harington, Iain Glen, Paul Kaye and Joe Dempsie in a scene from Game of Thrones.

*Warning this story contains spoilers about today's new episode*

Paul Kelly announces massive Australian tour

Paul Kelly is going on a 16-date national tour in November.

Music legend thrills fans with the announcement of a massive tour.

Survivor twist bound to shock

Sunshine Coast mum-of-three Tara Pitt.

TARA Pitt benefited from a shock twist on Australian Survivor.

The Block goes back to school with gorgeous kids rooms

Ronnie and Georgia's winning kids bedroom in a scene from The Block.

ONE magical bedroom received the first perfect score of the season.

What's on the small screen this week

Rob Collins and Jessica Marais in a scene from season two of The Wrong Girl.

JESSICA Marais returns in The Wrong Girl.

Playing Tom Cruise's wife was a dream for Sarah Wright

Tom Cruise and Sarah Wright in American Made.

The actress stars opposite Cruise in the action comedy

Airbnb, Stayz and co tipped to squeeze Coast housing market

HOLIDAY BOOM: Airbnb letting is putting a further squeeze on long-term rentals.

Councils exploring options to manage the industry

Developer tears up couple's contract for new home

Jade and Edward Roberts were stung by the sunset clause on the first day of their honeymoon.

The developer has the right to do this under the sunset clause

Stunning, heritage-listed Coast home going under the hammer

STUNNING: Buderim House, a stunning heritage-listed Queenslander estate, is going to auction.

Coast home that played host to royalty is set for auction

Internet king Kim Dotcom house-hunting

Kim Dotcom and his partner Elizabeth Donnelly have apparently been in Queenstown scoping out houses. Photo / Kim Dotcom

Dotcom tweeted pictures and video of himself and partner Elizabeth Donnelly

First home deposits hits $200k for some

Call for Reserve Bank limits to be scrapped for new buyers

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!