News

Woman feared for safety in wild car ride

A WOMAN feared for her safety as she sat in the front passenger seat of a vehicle being driven dangerously by Lachlan Charles Blair.

The young man refused to let her get out of the car as he drove erratically in North Mackay, forcing other motorists off the road.

At the time, the 22-year-old's licence was disqualified by a court order, his sixth court-ordered disqualification. It is his second dangerous driving charge.

Blair is expected to be jailed after pleading guilty to 14 offences between February and October last year, including deprivation of liberty, dangerous driving and driving while disqualified, which occurred in June last year.

Defence solicitor Nickie King, of Legal Aid Queensland, told the Mackay Magistrates Court Blair panicked when he saw an unmarked police vehicle on June 28.

Prosecutor Sergeant Sabine Scott said Blair demanded the woman exchange seats with him and was angry when she refused.

She attempted to get out of the car, but Blair drove off. He was driving in an aggressive manner, using excessive speed and weaving through traffic to overtake other vehicles on Ron Searle Dr, the court heard.

Blair deprived the woman of her liberty as he attempted to evade police, Sgt Scott said. The woman had asked to be let out multiple times. Blair just yelled and swore at her telling her to "shut the (expletive) up", the court heard.

She didn't know where she was going and felt she was being held against her will, Sgt Scott said.

Ms King said Blair had told the woman he would let her out near a friend's house.

"I don't think he deliberately set out to harm the victim," she said.

An officer had noticed Blair wasn't wearing a seatbelt. When he attempted to intercept, Blair drove off.

A psychological assessment of Blair described him as "drifting, impulsive and reactive in his choices", the court heard. "Generally speaking... the defendant has an atrocious traffic history," Sgt Scott said.

Despite this, Ms King said Blair had good rehabilitation prospects.

"He's ashamed to be going back to jail," Ms King said.

"(He recognises) the gravity of these offences and what it means for his life.

"He knows that his behaviour was completely foolish... he doesn't make good decisions under pressure."

Blair was "terrified" of returning to jail, Ms King said.

On a previous occasion he was kept in protective custody because he was approached by other inmates, she said.

Sgt Scott said Blair "has a tendency to blame others" for his circumstances.

Magistrate Ross Risson adjourned the matter for sentence.

Topics:  crime, safety, vehicle


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