The Old Britannia Hotel, Laidley. PHOTO: ALI KUCHEL
The Old Britannia Hotel, Laidley. PHOTO: ALI KUCHEL

Ice driver ‘blacks out’ and crashes into pub

FARM worker Brendon Blokland crunched his car head-on into a Laidley hotel - the drugs ice and MDMA in his system.

The late night crash into the Old Britannia Hotel was captured on CCTV.

It was one of two incidents that quickly returned him to a jail cell within weeks of his release, Ipswich Magistrates Court heard.

Brendon Paul Blokland, 29, from Laidley, pleaded guilty to 11 charges including dangerous driving when affected by an intoxicating substance; evading police; two counts of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle; two counts of driving when disqualified; two counts of unlawful use of a stolen car; receiving tainted property; possession of dangerous drugs; and unlawful possession of a weapon.

Seven of his offences took place on November 1, last year and four occurred on November 25.

Blokland appeared from jail via video link.

Police prosecutor Jack Scott said the weapon offence involved a replica hand gun of the BB type.

Mr Scott said Blokland was serving a jail sentence ended on January 13, 2021 for other offences. He was arrested in November.

Police sought a sentence with a parole eligibility date set in November this year.

Defence lawyer Matthew Fairclough said the penalty for his dangerous driving must be cumulative by law with Blokland accepting the police facts - which was to his credit.

"He spent his birthday in jail in March," he said.

Mr Fairclough said Blokland instructs on his last parole release he had difficulties in getting somewhere to live because his brother was at that time using the family home as his parole address.

"He found himself itinerant and became depressed," he said.

Blokland's mental health was affected by the death of a brother before Christmas and he used substances to deal with his depression.

While in jail there is a wait list to do drug relapse programs which Blokland wants to do so as not to sink back into his old ways.

He sought an 18 month jail sentence with eligibility to begin his application for parole at one-third, (in May) and for the court to take into account he had been returned to jail on November 25.


The Old Britannia Hotel, Laidley. PHOTO: ALI KUCHEL
The Old Britannia Hotel, Laidley. PHOTO: ALI KUCHEL


Magistrate Virginia Sturgess said the two dangerous driving episodes were serious and quite similar with Blokland already disqualified for a previous dangerous driving offence. The second offence involved him driving a stolen car.

Ms Sturgess said Blokland had 14 pages of criminal history with many convictions for dishonesty including burglary and entering premises.

She said he'd never held anything other than a Learner licence with 13 previous convictions for driving when disqualified.

The court had disqualified him absolutely from driving.

Ms Sturgess said Blokland was released from jail with parole on October 22 then a week later on November 1 committed his offences.

She said Blokland tested positive to both MDMA and methylamphetamine after he "collided head-on with a building in Patrick Street".

"You were agitated, incoherent. And admitted to police that you were a regular user of illicit drugs and think that you blacked out," she said.

"CCTV footage shows the car crossed onto the wrong side of the road 15 metres before, was driven over a traffic island and pedestrian crossing sign at speed, mounted a footpath and hit the Old Britannia hotel."

Ms Sturgess said two clip seal bags of ice crystals and a replica firearm were found.

Then at 2.30pm on November 25 a stolen white Chrysler was seen being driven away after a house burglary in Brookwater.

Police came across the car 2 ½ hours later and it was tracked by Polair with speeds of 100 km/h in a 60 zone, and driven onto the wrong side of the road multiple times.

Oncoming drivers were forced to take evasive action with the Chrysler driven against the traffic on an off-ramp of the Cunningham Highway.

Five police cars ended up involved in the pursuit that ended after the Chrysler's tyres were deflated by road spikes.

Blokland was arrested in an underground carpark at Coles Ipswich in Brisbane St.

"It is very serious offending and done so soon after your release from prison," Ms Sturgess said.

"Mr Blokland you have an appalling criminal and traffic history. Community protection is paramount in sentencing you."

Blokland was returned to jail on November 25 to serve the remainder of the sentence he'd been on parole for.

On the new charges he received an 18-month jail term to begin in January 2021 at the completion of his existing sentence.

Blokland will be able to begin his application for parole release in July.

He was disqualified absolutely from driving - but can apply to have this ban lifted after two years.

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