Cobargo man jailed over high-speed chase, barrels of cannabis in boot

CANNABIS HAUL: A Cobargo man found with more than 11kg of cannabis in his car boot after a high-speed chase on the Far South Coast, has been sentenced to jail.
CANNABIS HAUL: A Cobargo man found with more than 11kg of cannabis in his car boot after a high-speed chase on the Far South Coast, has been sentenced to jail.

A Far South Coast man who led police on a high-speed pursuit near Quaama and was found with a car boot full of cannabis will spend a minimum of nine months behind bars.

Samuel Robert Doolin, 37, of Cobargo, pleaded guilty to eight charges, including cannabis supply, when he appeared in Batemans Bay Local Court on Monday, July 23.

Officers were patrolling the Princes Highway near Quaama on the morning of May 27 when Doolin was detected driving at 110kmh in a 100kmh zone.

Police attempted to flag Doolin down, but after he failed to stop, officers initiated a pursuit.

Court papers showed Doolin led police along the highway before turning off at Quaama and reaching speeds of 130kmh in 50kmh streets. He was detected at a top speed of 160kmh.

At one point, officers said he waved what appeared to be a large knife out the car window.

Officers opted to terminate the pursuit due to safety concerns after Doolin turned down a dusty trail.

Later that morning, Narooma police found Doolin pulled over on the side of the road at Murrah, where he refused to exit the vehicle and tried to flee police without turning on the car’s engine.

An inspection of the vehicle found a large knife on the front seat, along with a small amount of methylamphetamine, cannabis seeds and various computer products and tools suspected of being stolen.

In the boot of the car, police found two large barrels containing 11.3kg of dried cannabis leaf.

Police said Doolin was highly aggressive and appeared to be under the influence of drugs at the time of his arrest.

In court on Monday, defence solicitor Travis McGeachy said Doolin had longstanding mental health issues and battled drug addiction at the time of the offences.

He said Doolin’s drug problem was exacerbated after he received a sum of money from his father’s inheritance several years prior.

“This certainly didn’t help him in terms of his stimulant abuse,” Mr McGeachy said.

The court heard Doolin had a lengthy criminal history, including a drive while disqualified matter in January 2018, and had already served jail time for a previous police pursuit back in 2016.

“It’s very rare to find a person coming to court on a second occasion for a police pursuit,” Magistrate David O’Connor said.

Mr O’Connor sentenced Doolin to 18 months’ imprisonment, with a non-parole period of nine months. He was fined $2500 and will remain off the roads for at least five years.