Car theft brings terror: Toddler on board in road rampage

A COURT has heard the details of a terrifying car theft in which a toddler was in the back seat as the car sped through the streets of Mildura.

Sheree Louise Gangur appeared in the custody dock at Mildura Magistrates’ Court yesterday, facing eight charges including child stealing, unlawful assault with a weapon, drug-driving, trespassing and erratic driving causing collisions.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Matt Pardon said about 6.15pm on June 1, a man and woman got out of their car and went into the Mildura Drive Thru Bottle-O, leaving the woman’s two-year-old daughter and a 25-year-old woman in the back seat.

The car keys were left in the ignition to ensure the heater stayed on to comfort the crying child.

The court heard Gangur was in the carpark and peered through the window of the car before jumping in the driver’s seat and speeding off with the child and woman still in the back.

The 25-year-old repeatedly yelled at Gangur before punching her to try and get her to pull over.

Sen-Constable Pardon said when Gangur stopped for traffic at the corner of Tenth Street and Bowrings Lane, the woman fell out of the car while trying to pull the keys from the ignition and force Gangur out of the driver’s seat.

Police allege Gangur continued with the crying toddler in the back, driving dangerously through the Eighth Street intersection where numerous cars had to brake to avoid a collision.

In Deakin Avenue the stolen car smashed into the rear of another car before swerving around and sideswiping it.

Its two occupants were later treated for whiplash.

Sen-Constable Pardon said the car hit a tree in front of Gangur’s former home in Cureton Avenue at Nichols Point, where she abandoned the car, leaving the child inside.

The accused bashed on the door of the home, prompting its occupants, a woman and children aged five and eight months, to hide in a bedroom in fear, the court heard.

The woman’s husband answered the door, and Gangur pushed past him and into the house.

As the man tried to get her out, Gangur allegedly hit him in the head six times with a frying pan, causing lacerations.

The victim was able to overpower Gangur and restrained her until police arrived.

On her arrest, Gangur was taken to Mil­dura Base Hospital due to her erratic state and tested positive to the drug ice.

Defence counsel Rebecca Boreham yesterday asked that sentencing of the matter be deferred so inquiries could be made about the treatment Gangur required and having her assessed for the Court Integrated ­Ser­vices Program.

Magistrate Gerard Lethbridge agreed, ­saying he would not proceed until police could provide him with victim impact statements.

The matter was deferred to next Thursday, with Gangur indicating she will plead guilty to all charges.

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