Joseph George Leis, now 21, received prison sentences for a weeks-long crime spree spanning Yeppoon to Gympie.
Joseph George Leis, now 21, received prison sentences for a weeks-long crime spree spanning Yeppoon to Gympie.

Teenage driver's weeks-long, drug-fuelled crime spree

A TEENAGE driver deliberately "spun out" in front of police during a drug-fuelled, high-speed chase after he was involved in break and enters, stealing cars and property.

Joseph George Leis was 19 at the time, and fronted the Maroochydore District Court yesterday aged 21 after he had spent 497 days in custody.

He had been awaiting sentence for a crime spree which started with the unlawful use of a motor vehicle in Yeppoon on January 1, 2017, and ended with his arrest on January 27 in his hometown, Gympie.

Leis was arrested alongside five co-accused, three of whom were alleged to be connected to a foiled break-in at Mitre 10, Cooroy, where a police officer was hit by a car trying to arrest one of the men.

The court heard Leis lied three times during a Crime and Corruption Commission hearing this year which related to the crime spree when he claimed "he did not remember the offences at all".

Leis pleaded guilty and was sentenced yesterday to three counts of perjury, enter premises and commit and indictable offence by break, enter premises with intent, possess tainted property, the unlawful use of a motor vehicle intended to destroy/damage/remove/interfere and two bail breaches.

Leis had been clean of drugs and complied with all reporting obligations since he was granted Supreme Court bail mid-2018.

Leis only had one previous conviction for possessing a pipe used to smoke drugs.

The court heard the former meatworks employee began to use drugs in 2016 after he lost his job and girlfriend early that year.

Judge Glen Cash QC told the court Leis' drug use escalated following deaths in his family, and rather than dealing with it in the "appropriate and legal way", he resorted to drugs which led to the offences he faced in court.

Leis used his time in prison to "get clear of drugs" and had completed course and worked while behind bars.

Since his release, Leis had lived with his mother and stepfather and had been on a disability support pension due to a shoulder injury.

Judge Cash QC said his order needed to make sure Leis had the "best possible chance not to get in trouble" and ordered three concurrent two-year head sentences for the perjury charges, and various concurrent prison sentences for the remainder of charges with immediate parole.

Leis' licence was disqualified for six months for the dangerous operation of a motor vehicle charge.