Topics:  ipswich magistrates court, joshua james beard

Crazy driver spends two months in jail

A 17-YEAR-OLD who drove dangerously at high speeds on the wrong side of the road trying to get away from the police has been released after two months in prison.

Ipswich Magistrates Court was told Joshua James Beard embarked on "grave criminal behaviour" over one day in September, between Springfield Lakes, Blackstone, Oxley, Browns Plains and Mt Warren Park, south of Logan.

Beard broke into multiple homes and stole wallets, cash, car keys and cigarettes, and later withdrew money from the Commonwealth Bank with stolen cards.

He stole cars and drove at high speeds causing a significant danger to other road users, while trying to evade being caught. Beard rammed numerous police cars in an attempt to escape. Despite road spikes being used to deflate the car's tyres, he kept driving on the bare rims.

Beard pleaded guilty to 20 offences, including dangerous operation and unlawful use of a motor vehicle, burglary, failing to stop for police, wilfully damaging police property, stealing and fraud.

Magistrate Michael Quinn said Beard's manner of driving had "put the community at grave risk".

"You posed a very real risk, but still drove dangerously - the community needs to be protected from people like you," Mr Quinn said.

"There needs to be a deterrent penalty set - despite your age, people need to know if you commit a serious offence you will go to jail."

Since his arrest on September 27, Beard has spent 63 days at Brisbane Correctional Centre, which his lawyer Matthew Fairclough called a "real wake-up call".

"He is far too young to give up on," Mr Fairclough said, adding that Beard had strong family support and was having drug counselling.

Beard was sentenced to eight months' prison, and with time already served was released on immediate parole.

He was also disqualified from driving for two years.



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