A judge rejected a plea for home detention by a Whangarei man who admitted fleeing from police in a stolen car before setting the vehicle alight while under the influence of methamphetamine and cannabis.

Troy Posinkovich, 31, pleaded guilty in the Whangarei District Court to charges of arson, failing to stop, driving in a dangerous manner, driving while forbidden, refusing blood, cultivating cannabis and receiving.

He was jailed for one year and 11 months when he appeared for sentencing on Friday.

Judge June Jelas said Posinkovich sped off in a stolen Toyota Corolla after being approached by police at Whakapara, north of Whangarei, on January 9.


Posinkovich reached speeds of 120km/h before braking hard then turning into Old Russell Rd. The road is a winding, tarsealed road with a speed limit of 100km/h and a popular route for holidaymakers travelling from Whakapara along the scenic east coast to Russell.

Posinkovich accelerated at speeds of 120km/h and began swerving on to the wrong side of the road.

He then turned into Pigs' Head Rd - a narrow, windy metal road with several one-lane bridges - and continued driving at speed while swerving in front of oncoming vehicles.

He attempted to smash the windscreen of a police car and slow officers down by throwing items out of the car as he was driving.

Posinkovich turned into Whananaki North Rd but stopped on top of a hill after the vehicle ran out of fuel.

He set the car alight before running off through farmland but was caught with the help of a local farmer.

When spoken to by police, Posinkovich admitted consuming methamphetamine and cannabis before driving. He failed a drug impairment test.

His lawyer Dave Sayes said a sentence of home detention would be appropriate as Posinkovich wanted to address his drug addiction so he could get back to his children.

He said Posinkovich had pleaded guilty at an early stage, acknowledged his drug addiction and was prepared to rehabilitate himself, and was at a low risk of reoffending.

Crown lawyer Justin Wall said Posinkovich offended while on bail on other charges.

Judge Jelas said there was a high degree of recklessness and a disregard to others in his actions.

Although the final sentence was less than two years and qualified Posinkovich to apply for home detention, the judge said jail was the only outcome considering the serious actions.