Tele/ Newcastle News: Paul Johnson pleaded guilty to police pursuit after Geoffrey Richardson death

A man already disqualified from driving for life when he sparked a high-speed chase that killed a police officer in 2016, has now pleaded guilty to another cop pursuit.

A man disqualified from driving for life when he sparked a high-speed chase that killed a police officer, has pleaded guilty to another dangerous high-speed pursuit.

Paul Robert Johnson, 39, was behind the wheel of a Ford Falcon in 2016, when he initiated a police pursuit near Maitland which resulted in the death of local sergeant Geoffrey Richardson.

It was late at night on March 5 when Sgt Richardson met a bend in Lovedale Rd, Allandale and lost control, slamming into a tree and was killed.

Johnson was convicted of a police pursuit and two counts of driving while disqualified and was jailed.

In September last year, Johnson was again behind the wheel when he led police on another dangerous high-speed chase through Rutherford.

The vehicle stopped near bushland at Weston where Johnson and an 18-year-old passenger abandoned the vehicle and fled, before the pair were later picked up by a woman in a Toyota sedan.

Polair tracked the two men to a home nearby and after a short foot pursuit and struggle, both men were arrested.

Johnson was charged with nine offences which included two counts of police pursuit, drive whilst disqualified, use class A vehicle with unauthorised number plates, drive recklessly, resist arrest, goods in custody suspected being stolen, possess prescribed restricted substance and custody of a knife in a public place.

At the time of his arrest Johnson was out on bail.

In Newcastle Local Court on Wednesday Johnson appeared via video link as legal aid solicitor Hannah Bruce pleaded guilty to police pursuit and drive whilst disqualified which will be used as a related offence.

The remaining seven charges were all withdrawn and dismissed.

His matters were adjourned until tomorrow – the date of other charges – where he’ll likely get a date for sentencing.

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