A motorcyclist fleeing from police weaved onto the wrong side of the road as he tried to revive his crippled conveyance in Hoblers Bridge Road, the Launceston Magistrates Court heard.
Police prosecutor Matt Hills read the facts of a crime spree committed by Aaron Neil Wesley, 31, of South Launceston across Northern Tasmania over the past 18 months. The court heard that he caused thousands of dollars worth of damage along the way and often deposited DNA at crime scenes.
Wesley pleaded guilty to a total of 55 counts including aggravated burglary, breach of bail, stealing, burglary, motor vehicle stealing, evading police and traffic offences.
READ MORE: Thief behind bars over $58k crime spree
About 12am on June 23, 2021 patrolling police spotted a black motorcycle turn onto Hoblers Bridge Road.
"The motorcyclist looked at police and then accelerated away at 100km/h in a 60km/h zone," Mr Hills said.
"Police heard a loud bang from the exhaust and shortly after it crossed onto the incorrect side of the road."
He said the rider was looking down and threw a piece of the motorcycle onto the road.
"It has slowed to about 20km/h when it went through a red traffic light and then slowed to 5km/h," he said.
"The rider dropped the motorcycle to the ground and decamped on foot," he said.
When caught Wesley was in possession of a large knife, capsicum spray and a bankcard.
In an interview Wesley told police he had been trying to evade police, but when he accelerated the bike broke down.
He had been trying to fix the wiring and had not realised he went onto the wrong side of the road.
In 2019 a guest at the City Park Grand Hotel found a firearm loaded with a .22 round sitting on top of a safe.
The weapon yielded a high grade DNA match to Wesley.
In January 2020 a householder returned home and saw a Ford Hatch parked in her driveway.
Wesley and two others were burgling her house including stealing a glass jar containing $60 worth of coins.
"The male tried to climb from the balcony and dropped the jar of coins," Mr Hills said.
When police visited Wesley's address they seized a pink cardigan from the home.
He and a co-offender broke into a business in Merino Street and used their vehicle to tow a stolen vehicle out of the premises. They advised patrolling police that they were having car trouble, but later forensic evidence linked Wesley to the car.
Forensic evidence was also used to link Wesley to two counts of burglary, two counts of stealing, two counts of injure property, a count of motor vehicle stealing and trespass at a business in Westbury Road between August 21 and September 10, 2020.
The next month Wesley entered Haywards at Western Junction and stole an Isuzu truck, but as he was driving out collided with two wind turbines causing $400 worth of damage. A mobile phone and a bankcard were found at the gate and the truck was later found burned out in bushland near the Silverdome.
When police executed a search warrant they found photos of the burglaries on his mobile phone.
On October 10, 2020 he smashed through plastic plaster walls at No Frills Prospect and gained access to a till drawer. He caused $1000 damage, but no property was taken and his DNA was located.
In December 2020 he cut a hole in the mesh at the car park at the Launceston Airport and drove a stolen Mitsubishi Pajero through the hole.
It was found burnt out three days later in Rose Lane, South Launceston. Damage to the fence was $400.
An attempt to steal a Toyota Landcruiser in Abbott Street failed when the owner chased him and held him until he fled on foot.
The court heard that after many of the offences Wesley received bail from the Magistrates Court.
However, he breached bail a total of 20 times by breaching his curfew or failing to sign in.
He told police he was going cold turkey on meth and couldn't fulfil his obligations.
In May an offender broke in to the Launceston RSL and entered a locked storage area and stole three antique swords.
Two of the swords were later located at Wesley's bail address and were seized by police.
The court heard that because of a relationship breakdown he had been kicked out of his bail address and had to change the address.
In June, 2021 he was not present at the new bail address on five occasions but was located at the old bail address on July 5, 2021.
The Community Corrections Department made application to Magistrate Ken Stanton seeking that Wesley be resentenced for failing to engage on a 12 month correction order including 70 hours of community service.
The order covered offending between January 2018 and June 2018.
Defence counsel Fran McCracken said Wesley had spent a total of 53 days in custody during the period of offending.
Mr Stanton agreed to have Wesley assessed for a drug treatment order which would allow him to avoid prison as long as he complied with drug treatment options.
He adjourned the case for sentence on August 6 at 11.30am.
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