Bound for Silverwater jail: How 'Mercedes mum' went from Instagram to inmate

Sydney Instagram influencer Margarita Tomovska entered Wollongong courthouse on Thursday morning looking picture-perfect, her straight black hair, bold eyelash extensions and pouting lips accentuated by a figure-hugging $15,000 outfit - all designed to make her stand out from the crowd.

By day's end, she was loaded onto a truck bound for Silverwater jail and an entirely different life from the one to which she is accustomed.

Gone were the inch-long false nails, the white dress and glamorous high heels, having been replaced by a stodgy, bottle green tracksuit, Dunlop Volleys and an overwhelming sense of uniformity bound to depress the image-obsessed Tomovska.

Just hours earlier, on her way to Wollongong to learn her fate over a high-speed police chase that ended with a gunpoint arrest, Tomovska had taken the time to stop at Bulli Tops and snap a picture of her outfit - and trusty Mercedes - for her legion of social media fans.

How it unfolded: The police in-car footage shows the two-minute pursuit, followed by audio (begins at 2.48) and video of the duo's dramatic arrest by the side of the Princes Highway.

"What feels like the end is often the beginning," she captioned the photo wistfully.

Yes, the beginning of a nine-month stint behind bars.

It's unclear if Tomovska had been expecting such a sentence, her face remaining frozen in time as Magistrate Susan McGowan announced the penalty.

However, Tomovska did show her stripes an hour later, reappearing in court armed with an appeal form and an application for bail, underpinned by her unwavering belief she is innocent of the charge against her.

Margarita Tomovska posted a picture of her outfit on Instagram on her way to Wollongong on Thursday morning.

Margarita Tomovska posted a picture of her outfit on Instagram on her way to Wollongong on Thursday morning.

The 28-year-old had argued at a previous court hearing that she had been acting under duress from her "dangerous" male passenger, Christopher King, when she lead police on the high-speed chase in her luxury Mercedes AMG on the evening of November 13, 2018.

The highway patrol car's footage of the incident showed Tomovska reaching speeds of up to 230km/h - more than double the speed limit - during the chase, which only ended when Tomovska eventually stopped at Helensburgh.

Has the threshold [for a jail sentence] been crossed? In my opinion it's been well and truly leapt over.

She and King were ordered out of the car at gunpoint with police acting on intelligence that there may have been a firearm in the car.

"Stop! Put your hands on your heads, hands on your heads! Do not do anything, do not talk, quiet, hands on your heads!" Senior Constable Nathan Grant can be heard yelling at Tomovska in the footage.

It was only then that police realised there was an inadequately restrained three-year-old child in the car.

"How can you go that fast with a baby in the car?" Snr Cst Grant asked Tomovska incredulously.

"You just went 200km/h in a pursuit with a [child] in the car. Can you give me a legitimate reason that you were involved in a high-speed pursuit with me today?

"No," Tomovska replied.

Meanwhile, police searched the vehicle but did not uncover any weapons. A search along the freeway uncovered a gun magazine in bushland.

King has not been charged with any offences in relation to the incident.

In finding Tomovska guilty of the pursuit at a court hearing in August, Magistrate Susan McGowan flat-out rejected the 28-year-old's assertion she had been acting under the duress of King at the time.

Picture: Instagram @margaritatomovska

Picture: Instagram @margaritatomovska

"I feel as if my intelligence has been affronted," she said. "That's how unbelievable it all is. In my view there's absolutely no evidence to support her claims."

On Thursday, defence lawyer Louie Angelovski sought a lenient sentence for his client, saying she had no prior record and had successfully completed the traffic offenders program.

He said Tomovska was apologetic and understood the gravity of her actions.

However, police prosecutor Sergeant Amelia Wall said Tomovska only that morning had posted a video to Instagram of the person driving her vehicle speeding on the way to court.

"She's shown absolutely no remorse, in fact, quite the opposite - she has relished to attention," Sgt Wall said.

"She's been boasting and skylarking on social meida, playing the victim on a Go Fund Me page titled 'Fight Raptor', trying to raise $100,000 for her own use, all the while gloating on social media about spending thousands of dollars on clothing and accessories.

"Ms Tomovska has shown a complete disregard for the the safety of the community."

Sgt Wall said 358 people had been killed on NSW roads in the past 12 months - and Tomovska's behaviour that night could have added to the figure.

"It could easily have been 361 or more if Ms Tomovska had collided with another vehicle," she said.

"If these facts, under these circumstances, don't land a person in jail, then something is seriously wrong."

Magistrate McGowan agreed, labelling the pursuit one of the worst she'd ever seen during her 10 years on the bench.

"All in all, it was a recipe for disaster," she said.

"Has the threshold [for a jail sentence] been crossed? In my opinion it's been well and truly leap over."

She sentenced Tomovska to 18 months' jail, with a non-parole period of nine months.

Tomovska's appeal is expected to be heard in Wollongong District Court next month.

This story How 'Mercedes mum' went from Instagram to inmate first appeared on Illawarra Mercury.