ACT News

Driver sentenced for burnout in front of police and dangerous pursuit

A provisional driver has had his license suspended, been handed a good behaviour order, and fined after leading police on a merry chase through the streets of Ngunnawal, writes Henry Belot.

A provisional driver who performed a burnout in front of police before leading them on a dangerous pursuit has had his licence suspended, been handed a good-behaviour order and been fined. 

About 10.30pm on June 15, police saw 20-year-old Joshua Ranie lose control of his black Holden ute at a roundabout in Ngunnawal.

The officers stopped 15 metres from the vehicle before it performed a burnout and completed three 360-degree spins, with smoke billowing from the rear wheels and stones hitting the front of the police car. 

Ranie then sped away from the officers and continued south towards Gungahlin Drive, reaching a speed of at least 90km/h in a 60km/h zone.

A 15-year-old girl was in the passenger seat of the car and became extremely upset.

After passing the Nicholls Shops, the vehicle completed a U-turn and travelled back on the wrong side of the road before hitting a "keep left" sign and a tree, and then travelling the wrong way around a roundabout and mounting a gutter.


The vehicle then crashed into a cyclist mounting rail, drove over a traffic island, mounted another gutter, and collided with a metal barrier, causing the passenger-side air bag to deploy and leaving the passenger with head injuries.

The vehicle eventually came to a stop near the Nicholls Primary School, where Ranie told police he thought he was in trouble for travelling 5-10km/h more than the speed limit.

Ranie pleaded guilty in the ACT Magistrates Court, where Magistrate Beth Campbell said the incident was appalling and dangerous, and would have been terrifying for residents in the quiet neighbourhood. 

Ms Campbell said the 20-year-old's conduct was "most awful" and he "needed to take the responsibility of having a licence more seriously once he got it back".

Ranie, who has no prior convictions and is unemployed, wrote an apology to the police officers involved.

Ranie's licence was suspended for 12 months. He was placed on an 18-month good-behaviour order with compulsory counselling, and fined $250 for failing to stop for a police officer.