CarsGuide generic car pics - Mercedes Benz emblem. Pic. Kevin Bull
CarsGuide generic car pics - Mercedes Benz emblem. Pic. Kevin Bull

Mercedes thief’s drug fuelled crimes catch up with him

A MAN who purchased a Mercedes Benz from a buyer on Gumtree and then cancelled the funds transfer after taking off in the car committed the offence while addicted to drugs.

Ethan John Brack, 36, pleaded guilty on September 25 to 10 charges in Rockhampton Magistrates Court.

The charges included dishonestly obtaining a motor vehicle, unlawful use of a motor vehicle, disqualified driving, fuel drive off, possess drug utensil, evade fare and fail to appear in court.

Police prosecutor Ignus Schoeman said Brack answered a Gumtree advertisement about a white Mercedes Benz sedan for sale on January 6, 2018, meeting the victim at a shopping centre in North Lakes where Brack paid the victim via money transfer and took the car.

Mr Schoeman said Brack cancelled the transaction after leaving with the victim’s car.

Brack drove while disqualified when he drove the Mercedes from North Lakes to a Mango Hill Service Station, captured on CCTV at 2.50pm, where he did a fuel drive off worth $20.08, telling the staff member he forgot his wallet and would return to pay.

He didn’t return.

He said when police caught up with Brack, he gave them the keys and told them he left the Mercedes at Redcliffe.

Brach had been disqualified from driving in Brisbane Magistrates Court on March 24, 2017, for three years.

The car was recovered on January 7 and has been in a police holding yard until sentencing.

Mr Schoeman said Brack evaded paying a train toll at Fortitude Valley on January 6, 2018, with officers intercepting him at 7.35pm.

He told them he had no money to pay for the fare.

Brack was searched and was found with a black toiletries bag he claimed belonged to an associate, which contained digital scales, two straws, 17 clip seal bags and one clip seal bag containing a crystal substance.

He was also found in possession of a suspected stolen iPhone which had Asian italics on it.

Brack admitted it was not his and it could have been stolen and he had obtained it from a Caboolture associate known to deal drugs for cash or items.

Brack was intercepted driving while disqualified on January 17 at 11.35am at Springwood.

Brack unlawfully used a Nissan Pathfinder on April 18, 2018, after being at the owner’s address with consent and taking the keys at 5.30am without consent.

The owner woke up to the noise of the car starting and driving out of the garage.

Mr Schoeman said the victim contacted Brack at 9.25am by SMS and requested the vehicle be returned with Brack responding he was 20-40 mins away.

However, at 12.24pm, Brack advised he was at Fortitude Valley Station and the car had been stolen by a male passenger.

Mr Schoeman said the vehicle was not recovered.

Brack had a three-page criminal record and three-page traffic record.

Defence lawyer Samantha Legrady said Brack, whose parents separated when he was six, started using drugs after his mother’s death when he was 18.

She said his life circumstances changed early last year when he stopped using drugs cold turkey, relocated to Rockhampton and became a carer for his stepfather.

She said Brack was a qualified chef and had a diploma in auto electrics.

Ms Legrady said Brack’s former husband’s sister went into rehabilitation and Brack ended up caring for her five children, who were very young.

She said Brack had been diagnosed with bipolar, anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder and depression which was managed by a doctor.

Ms Legrady said since Brack moved to the region, he had taken over his stepfather’s roles at the local bowls club as president and treasurer

Magistrate Cameron Press said the defendant was before the court with his fifth and sixth disqualified driving offences.

“This offending no doubt has aetiology in your drug use,” he said.

Brack was sentenced to a nine-month prison term with immediate parole release and disqualified from driving for a further two years.

He was also fined $650 and ordered to pay $20.08 restitution.

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