AN ARMIDALE man has been taken to a hospital for a specialist medical assessment, less than a day after he allegedly led police on a wild chase.
The 23-year-old man cannot be identified for legal reasons but was being held in police custody when his case was listed in Inverell Local Court on Friday morning.
Police allege he had no licence when he got behind the wheel of a stolen ute on Thursday afternoon, which ended in a dramatic arrest east of Armidale.
He's facing five charges including police pursuit; stealing a car; never being licensed; refusing or failing to submit to an oral fluid test; and custody of a knife in a public place.
Two other unrelated matters were relisted in court for the proceedings, but he was not required to enter pleas to any of the charges.
Magistrate Holly Kemp ordered the 23-year-old undergo a specialist assessment, and return to court at a later date.
It all started just after 1.45pm on Thursday when New England police were alerted to reports a white Mazda ute had been taken from outside a home on Dumaresq Street in Armidale.
Highway patrol officers started combing nearby streets and spotted the ute at a roadworks site not long after.
Officers said they attempted to stop the ute but allege the driver sped off.
Police gave chase and claim the driver was travelling well in excess of the signposted limit, for about 20km.
Officers set up road spikes at at Commissioners Waters, east of Armidale, and deployed them when the ute went past.
The ute eventually stopped and a 23-year-old man was arrested.
Police said checks revealed he had never held a driver's licence, and claim he also recorded a positive roadside drug test.
The man was taken to Armidale Police Station and charged with the string of offences. He spent the night in custody before Friday's court hearing.
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