10 months jail for ram raid driver
THE driver of a car that crashed minutes after it was involved in a ram raid, leaving a 15-year-old in a critical condition, was drunk and disqualified from driving, a court heard on Friday.
Justin Daniel Lee Solomon, his teenage accomplice and another man ram raided the Victoria Tavern bottle shop on High St, Rockhampton, on April 30, 2011, causing $10,000 worth of damage to the bottle shop's roller door. After stealing a handful of alcoholic drinks, the trio made their escape, with Solomon crashing the vehicle 400m from the bottle shop.
He pleaded guilty in Rockhampton District Court to several charges relating to the ram raid, including dangerously driving a motor vehicle causing grievous bodily harm while intoxicated.The 20-year-old's defence lawyer, Jordan Ahlstrand, said his client and friends had run out of alcohol during a binge drinking session and decided to rob the bottle shop for more.
Crown prosecutor Jessica King said Solomon's blood alcohol level was .0180% immediately after the crash.
Ms King said the teenager involved in the ram raid suffered extensive injuries and required numerous surgeries.
She said he was flown to the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane and spent 14 days in the intensive care unit.
But Mr Ahlstrand said it would have been a more aggravating circumstance had the 15-year-old been an innocent bystander, not an accomplice.
Solomon wrote a letter to the court accepting responsibility for his actions and stated he wanted to turn his life around after prison.
Judge Grant Britton sentenced Solomon to 10 months in jail. He will be eligible for parole on November 27 due to jail time already served.
Despite his accomplices paying $3390 restitution each, Judge Britton said it would be pointless to rule Solomon pay the same as he would be in jail. He ruled Solomon be: "disqualified absolutely from holding or obtaining a licence".