A fleeing driver has been jailed after taking police on an almost 70km pursuit while towing a $40,000 stolen caravan and trying to ram a patrol car.
Kyle James Cross, 27, was jailed for two years and six months and disqualified from driving for 18 months when he appeared in the Tauranga District Court for sentencing on a raft of charges before Judge Thomas Ingram on Monday.
He was also ordered to pay $3151 reparation.
Cross' charges included assaulting police with a weapon, failing to stop for police, reckless driving, driving while disqualified, burglary and a charge of receiving relating to driving a stolen van with false plates.
Cross was also sentenced for shoplifting $294 worth of clothing from Farmers, an $82.61 petrol drive-off and breach of bail.
The court heard that about 3.30am on March 10, Cross, who was disqualified from driving, drove a Holden motor vehicle to a Hewletts Rd commercial caravan site.
After he entered the yard, Cross broke a steel security bollard behind a Swift Challenger caravan valued at $40,000, hitched it to his vehicle and drove off.
As he drove away the steel caravan stabiliser was dragging on the road, creating showers of sparks seen by on-site employees who called the police, the court heard.
Eight minutes later police located Cross' vehicle still towing the caravan at the intersection of State Highway 29 and SH36 in Tauranga and signalled for him to stop.
Cross failed to do so and took police on a lengthy pursuit from SH33 to Ōropi Gorge Rd, along Ōropi and Mountain Rds then on to No 2 Rd, and headed into Te Puke township.
During the pursuit, which went on for about 80 minutes over a distance of 70km, he repeatedly "brake-checked" heavily in front of pursuing police vehicles.
He also repeatedly swerved across lanes and into ditches and banks on the roadside to try to dislodge the caravan, which slewed violently across the entire road.
Cross almost lost control of his vehicle on a number of occasions, the court heard.
As he approached Te Puke township, Cross swerved with enough force that the caravan detached on Boucher Ave.
The caravan travelled down the road before it entered a shop entrance on the corner of Jellicoe St and Boucher Ave and crashed into a bollard.
Cross carried on driving well above the 50km/h speed limit through several Te Puke residential streets, reaching more than 100km/h at times.
After he fled up No 2 Rd he stopped abruptly before reversing in an attempt to ram a police vehicle, forcing officers to quickly take evasion action.
Cross then lost control and crashed down a bank. He was caught and taken into custody.
He told police he stole the caravan because he was about to be evicted, and he tried to ram the police car because officers would "not back off" and he was about to run out of petrol.
Judge Ingram said nothing other than a prison sentence could be imposed given Cross' "appalling" driving offences, which had endangered police officers and other road users.
Judge Ingram said it was noted Cross had sought help from Hanmer Clinic for his methamphetamine problem, which was to his credit.
But "disappointingly", the pre-sentence report stated Cross had shown no remorse for the harm he had caused, other than his offer to apologise in person, the judge said.
Cross had prior convictions which included careless use of a motor vehicle, receiving stolen property and unlawful possession of a gun, Judge Ingram said.