Car chase and baseball bat attack

A ROCKHAMPTON man has been jailed for dangerously chasing a car at 120kmh in a suburban street and then using a metal baseball bat to smash the car’s windscreen and fracture the elbow of one of its occupants.

Darren Steven Burnell drove dangerously in pursuit of his de facto partner on Upper Dawson Road in Rockhampton on August 4, 2007.

He pleaded guilty in Rockhampton District Court last week to the terrifying chase.

Around 6am his de facto was driving with a male passenger when Burnell started chasing them.

The woman told police she was driving about 60kmh before Burnell sped up behind and nudged the back of his partner’s car.

She accelerated away, speeding up to 120kmh trying to escape.

Burnell, 30, planted the accelerator and overtook his partner’s car, cutting it off and forcing it to stop on the side of the road.

His partner reversed, did a U-turn and tried driving away.

But Burnell pursued her again, overtaking and forcing her off the road at the other end of the street.

This time Burnell jumped out of his car holding a metal baseball bat and walked to his partner’s car.

He smashed the windscreen and then walked around to the driver’s side window and smashed it.

The man in the passenger seat got out of the car, so Burnell walked over to him.

The passenger put his hands in the air and tried to explain what was happening but Burnell kept walking towards him.

When he was two metres away the passenger stopped with his back to a brick fence.

Burnell swung the bat and the man raised his arms to deflect the blow. The bat struck him on the elbow, forcing him to fall backwards over the fence.

At Rockhampton Hospital, the man was found to have a bone fracture at the elbow and required surgery.

Burnell pleaded guilty to dangerous operation of a vehicle, three counts of wilful damage, grievous bodily harm and driving with a disqualified licence.

Defence barrister Steve Kissick said Burnell had taken steps to rehabilitate himself since the incident.

Crown prosecutor Shaun Gordon told the court Burnell had a criminal history.

Judge Grant Britton sentenced Burnell to three years imprisonment with a parole release date of September 3, 2010.

Burnell is also disqualified from driving for three years.

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