Man receives jail term, life driving ban in Bunbury Magistrates Court

A 26-year-old Geographe man received a significant punishment over a series of incidents in July 2017. 

Shannon Lewis Matthews faced Bunbury Magistrates Court via custody on Friday, February 23 and pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary, escaping from lawful custody, never having authority to drive, reckless driving – speeding by 45km or more to escape police, reckless driving to escape police pursuit and two counts of stealing. 

Sergeant Brian McCormack told the court Matthews and two other assailants forced their way through the front of Margaret River Tyrepower on Burton Road at 12.30am on July 17, 2017.  

They removed the money draw and safe, containing $1531 all up, and left the premises. 

Police found the three and their vehicle, a black BMW, at Rotary Park, Margaret River around 1am. During their inquiries, officers uncovered crow-bars, jimmy-bars, the money draw and safe in the car.

While officers dealt with the two co-accused persons, Matthews kicked out the door of the police car and escaped from the scene. 

At 12.38pm, police saw Matthews leave his Webb Street, Geographe premises in a white Ford Fairmont. During the pursuit, Matthews fled at 130 kilometres per hour in a 70km zone while overtaking cars. 

Officers called off the chase, citing the potential dangers for citizens. South West traffic police on Bussell Highway in Capel then located the vehicle. 

Matthews clocked 150km/hr in a 110km zone, and had crossed onto the opposite side of the carriageway. 

He then made partial admissions to police on January 11, 2018. In court, the defence said methamphetamine caused Matthews to have a hazy memory of the day. They mentioned, following Matthews’ release from prison in 2016, he had struggled to find work and had relapsed into a life of crime. They also said Matthews did not want to delay matters further and made an effort to stop using meth. 

Sgt. McCormack said Matthews had a substantial record and described the burglary as a “professional type”. He added Matthews’ meth use on the day had the potential for disaster. 

He said the sentence should reflect the seriousness of Matthews’ actions and deter others. Magistrate Brian Mahon noted the 26-year-old’s meth use had “created significant danger for himself and others on the road”. 

However, the magistrate acknowledged Matthews had taken major steps to get his life back on track. 

Matthews received an concurrent term of two years and two months, fines totalling $900, $200 in court costs, and a life-time driving disqualification. He was made eligible for parole. ​