High-speed car thief stays in jail

A MAN'S appeal for a lighter sentence after stealing a car from Kempsey before leading police on a high-speed chase in Sydney has been dismissed.

John Wayne Tsiakas pleaded guilty in July last year to a string of offences beginning on the Mid North Coast the previous year.

He and another man ran from a taxi in Kempsey without paying the fare on a Monday night in February 2013 and attempted unsuccessfully to break into a car with a screwdriver.

A few hours later, Tsiakas broke into a nearby home and stole car keys, a mobile phone, a laptop, house keys and a wallet while the owners were asleep.

He used the stolen keys to take the residents' car from the driveway.

Police officers recognised the stolen vehicle driving through Sydney's south-west eight days later and activated their warning lights.

Tsiakas pulled over, waited for the officers to approach and sped away, reaching speeds of 130kmh in a 60kmh zone.

He stopped to allow a woman passenger to run from the car, before speeding off again and colliding with a perimeter fence and a concrete barrier.

Tsiakas continued driving on the wrong side of the road, then ran away and scaled the fence of a nearby home.

He was eventually arrested with the help of a police dog.

The chase took place over about 5.5km.

Tsiakas also recorded a blood-alcohol reading of .035 and had been disqualified from driving.

His long criminal history included a nine-month prison term in 2012 for leading police on another high-speed chase in a stolen car at speeds of up to 170kmh near Tweed Heads.

He argued the four-year non-parole period on his most recent sentence should be overturned because his former solicitor's alleged incompetence during the trial.

NSW Supreme Court Justice Robert Beech-Jones said the appeal was unfounded.

"He has not been conviction-free for such a period for over 20 years ... there was nothing to suggest that if a longer period of parole was imposed it was likely to result in him having improved prospects of rehabilitation."


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