Hit and run driver on fast track to 4 years jail
WHEN a man armed himself with a shovel in self defence, a Rockhampton man put his foot down on the accelerator.
Christopher Alan Carswell rammed into the victim, sending him crashing through his car windscreen.
Carswell then quickly left the scene.
Today, Carswell, 38, pleaded guilty in the Rockhampton District Court to one count of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing grievous bodily harm before leaving the scene.
Crown prosecutor Ryder Reid told the court on December 20, 2014, Carswell, who has a "significant criminal history”, went to a home on Scenic Highway, Kinka Beach, his ex-girlfriend was visiting to return some items to her.
The complainant was also at the home, but didn't notice Carswell's presence until he heard the woman scream.
He then saw Carswell drive away from the home, but armed himself with a shovel in fear he would return and become violent.
The court heard Carswell did return and drove slowly up the drive-way towards the man holding the shovel.
He then accelerated and drove into the complainant which caused his upper body to go through the windscreen before sliding down the bonnet onto the ground.
Carswell then reversed and drove away.
The complainant received lacerations to "many areas” of his body, but the most significant injury was a ruptured ligament in his knee.
He required constructive knee surgery and now suffers nightmares, panic attacks and depression as a result of the injury.
Defence barrister Tom Polley told the court his client had a good upbringing in Rockhampton on his parent's lettuce farm, but had struggled with ice addiction for around 16 years - he is now clean.
On the day of the offence, Mr Polley said his client felt scared about retaliation which is why he fled the scene.
Carswell was on a suspended sentence at the time of the offence and was driving on a disqualified licence.
Judge Michael Burnett told Carswell that driving was a "privilege, not a right” and his "dangerous” and "deliberate” conduct meant he no longer got to "enjoy that privilege”.
Judge Burnett sentenced Carswell to four years imprisonment with a parole eligibility date of June 8, 2018.
Carswell's licence was also disqualified absolutely.