An unlicensed fleeing driver has admitted taking police on high-speed chase, ending when the car crashed through a brick wall at a Tauranga school.
Te Ruki Waikaho, 17, appeared in the Tauranga District Court yesterday and pleaded guilty to one charge each of failing to stop for police, driving in a dangerous manner and unlawfully taking a motor vehicle relating to incidents on February 13.
The latter charge attracts a maximum penalty of seven years' prison.
Police said sometime between 8am and 5.20pm on February 13 a Mazda Demio parked on Devonport Rd was stolen.
About 6.25pm that same day the victim saw her stolen car being driven in Welcome Bay, followed it and called police.
Waikaho and his two associates were wearing gloves to prevent fingerprints being left in the vehicle, the police summary of facts revealed.
Police found the vehicle on Turret Rd and followed it, but Waikaho failed to stop, and sped off, driving into 15th Ave.
He then turned right into Burrows St, and then into 14th Ave, increasing his speed from about 65km/h to 80km/h, failing to slow at the Fraser St intersection.
As Waikaho attempted to turn into Devonport Rd, the car failed to negotiate the corner and crashed through a brick wall at Tauranga Boys' College.
The brick wall was demolished and the vehicle valued at $5800 was written off.
Costs of the repairs to the brick wall were still being determined.
Waikaho does not have a driving licence, the court heard.
Lawyer Jessica Rose told Judge Christopher Harding she would be applying for a discharge without conviction for her client, who had no previous convictions.
Judge Harding replied "he'll be lucky" but agreed not to enter convictions at this stage to give Rose the chance to file a discharge application and support documents.
Waikaho was remanded on bail pending a possible restorative justice meeting report, reparation report and sentencing on May 8.
Tauranga Boys' College principal Robert Mangan told the Bay of Plenty Times today that it was fortunate no one was hurt from this "significant" event.
"From a health and safety perspective it is fortunate this happened outside school hours and the area was relatively free of people.
"Property can be always repaired as opposed to damage or significant injury to humans," he said.