STOLEN RIDE: Shaye Rhonda Umu Stephens and Fitzgerald Michael Christian Hopkins went on a wild joy ride in a stolen car, stealing petrol from servos, before being stopped in Brisbane, a court has been told.
STOLEN RIDE: Shaye Rhonda Umu Stephens and Fitzgerald Michael Christian Hopkins went on a wild joy ride in a stolen car, stealing petrol from servos, before being stopped in Brisbane, a court has been told.

Pair behind wild joy ride cop prison terms

A PAIR of small-time criminals went on a wild joy ride in a stolen car, using stolen petrol, for about three hours before being nabbed by police.

The pair faced Brisbane District Court on Tuesday where they both copped prison terms for their antics.

But with time already served, former Fraser Coast local Shaye Rhonda Umu Stephens is now headed to live in Mackay to start life anew.

The 20-year-old woman pleaded guilty to charges including stealing and unlawful use of a motor vehicle.

SENTENCED: Shaye Rhonda Umu Stephens.
SENTENCED: Shaye Rhonda Umu Stephens.

Her co-accused Fitzgerald Michael Christian Hopkins, 30, also pleaded guilty to a raft of offences including stealing, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle and burglary.

The court was told Hopkins stole the car from a Hervey Bay home in January last year.

Crown Prosecutor Carla Ahern said that on their trip to Brisbane the pair stole petrol from three service stations.

Police helicopters tracked the vehicle driving on the wrong side of the road, overtaking 29 other vehicles and speeding through red lights.

“On one occasion four cars took evasive action to avoid colliding with the stolen vehicle,” Ms Ahern said.

The chase ended when Hopkins, after failing an attempt to steal another vehicle while armed with a knife, fled into a nearby house with Stephens.

Hopkins was tasered by officers and bitten by a police dog during his arrest.

Both attempted to diminish the other’s role in the crime spree when questioned by police, the court was told.

Stephens’ defence lawyer Michael Gatenby said his client had moved to Mackay with her family to make a fresh start and was now working.

Judge Ken Barlow sentenced Stephens to 252 days in jail but backdated the sentence to her arrest in January last year, meaning she had already served her time in custody.

Hopkins was sentenced to three years jail and disqualified from driving for the same length of time. Due to time served, he will be eligible for parole on March 16.


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