23 March 2023

Marc Jessop sped at over 180km/h before killing Harri Jokien in Monaro Highway collision

| Albert McKnight
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NSW Police court

Marc Anthony Jessop pleaded guilty to manslaughter over the death of Harri Jokinen. Photo: Albert McKnight.

A man who had recently joined two break-ins was fleeing police in a stolen car by driving at over 180km/h when he smashed into another motorist’s van head-on, killing him.

Marc Anthony Jessop has admitted killing Harri Jokinen in the Monaro Highway crash on 30 December 2021 as he pleaded guilty to a charge of manslaughter over his death.

Police started chasing a stolen Holden Commodore about 10:30 am that morning, court documents say. The car was going 180km/h before they ended the pursuit near Bredbo due to its speed.

A second pursuit started when the car was spotted at Williamsdale about 20 minutes later. Jessop was speeding along the centre line of the highway when he sideswiped two cars, then collided head-on with a Mitsubishi Starwagon shortly after.

Mr Jokinen, 56, had been driving the van and died at the scene.

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Jessop was removed from the driver’s seat of the Commodore and returned a reading of 0.129 to a roadside breath test. Methlyamphetamine was also later detected in his blood.

Paramedics said he repeatedly asked how the driver of the van was, then appeared shocked when told he had died.

Jessop and his passenger, who was also pulled from the stolen car, were taken to Canberra Hospital with minor injuries.

By analysing data from the Commodore’s airbag police learned the car had been travelling at 188.3 km/h just 2.5 seconds before the collision.

Police interviewed Jessop in April 2022 and he admitted being involved in both pursuits. He told them he’d drunk a couple of beers that night and some port in the morning, but he hadn’t felt affected “at all”.

Early in the morning of 30 December 2021, before the police pursuits, two masked people smashed a door to enter the United Petroleum Service Station on Ryrie Street, Michelago, and started stealing items inside.

Jessop opened the front door and also went inside, then stole several jerry cans.

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Later that morning, two people kicked open a door at the Nimmitabel Bakery, Nimmitabel, then ransacked the place. Jessop also entered and tried to open the ATM.

The documents say $3000-worth of damage was caused to the servo and $4500-worth of damage was caused to the bakery during the incidents.

Jessop, a 49-year-old from Moruya, appeared in the Cooma Local Court on Wednesday (22 March).

He pleaded guilty to single counts of manslaughter, police pursuit, driving a conveyance that was taken without the consent of the owner, driving while disqualified as well as to two counts of aggravated break, enter and steal in company.

Magistrate Roger Clisdell accepted his guilty pleas and listed the matter for 1 May before the Queanbeyan District Court to begin organising a sentencing date.

Jessop, who is in custody, was refused bail.

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Hope the judge has a backbone and sends him away for a long time.

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