Man charged after stolen car crashes into cemetery during pursuit

A man has been charged after a pursuit in the Hunter Valley which ended when the vehicle crashed into a cemetery, damaging gravestones.

About 10.25pm yesterday (Saturday 25 May 2019), police attempted to stop a Toyota Corolla on the New England Highway, Rutherford, after it was spotted displaying suspected stolen number plates.

The vehicle failed to stop and a pursuit was initiated, which travelled through Rutherford and Telarah.

The vehicle continued until reaching the intersection of George Street and South Street, where it lost control and crashed through the fence to a cemetery and across the tops of several gravestones, causing them significant damage.

The driver fled from the scene but was arrested a short time later after being tracked by the Dog Squad.

Inquiries reveal the Toyota Camry was stolen from Islington.

The 37-year-old man was taken to Maitland Police Station where he was charged with seven offences including police pursuit, disqualified driver, drive vehicle without consent of owner, use vehicle with unauthorised number plates, drive recklessly, possess prohibited drug, and trespass onto rail lines.

He has been refused bail to appear at Maitland Local Court tomorrow (Monday 27 May 2019).