Drug-fuelled taxi robber jailed
DREW Woodland held up three taxi drivers while armed with a syringe and wearing a blue beanie with eye-holes cut in it.
He told one taxi driver he had AIDS.
On May 25 last year he called a taxi to Forth St at 3.50am. When it arrived he got in, wearing his beanie and carrying the syringe, Crown prosecutor Chris Winlaw told the District Court in Mackay.
The 44-year-old driver told him he had no money because he'd just started work.
Under threat, the driver pulled a $50 note from his pocket and gave it to Woodland, who also took the driver's mobile phone and wallet.
Three days later Woodland did the same thing, calling a taxi to Keats St. But this time the 44-year-old female driver got out and started screaming so Woodland fled empty-handed.
Then, on May 31, he held up a third taxi driver who activated a duress alarm before kicking Woodland twice in the stomach while yelling for help.
Woodland, 23, pleaded guilty to a total of eight charges, including three of armed robbery, and others relating to a number of break-ins.
At several break-ins he was disturbed by the occupants of the residences.
Woodland stole $6700 worth of property, including jewellery, during one break-in, the court was told.
The prosecutor said the armed robberies were particularly concerning because they involved some level of premeditation, the phoning of taxis and the use of a syringe and a disguise.
"Taxi drivers are vulnerable and they need to be protected," Mr Winlaw said.
All the offences were drug-fuelled.
Judge Julie Dick, SC, said the robberies were very unpleasant and had serious consequences for the taxi drivers.
Woodland was jailed for four years.
Because he had spent 259 days in pre-sentence custody Judge Dick recommended that he be released on parole on October 24 this year.