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Enraged dad terrorises church teens on outing

A CHURCH youth group was terrorised by a ratchet-armed driver who rammed their mini van with his car and sprayed them with shattered glass in a dangerous road-rage attack.

Ipswich Magistrates Court heard the group of teenagers had been dropped off at a Redbank Plains shopping centre for a day out of shopping.

When their pastor returned with the van to collect the group, one of the youths said he had been punched in the back of the head by a man. The court heard the assailant, William Thomas Jahnke, 24, had intervened in what he saw as an "unfair dispute" among the group.

But his involvement didn't stop there. He followed and intimidated the group as the teenagers left.

As the pastor drove the teens away from the centre along Collingwood Dr, Jahnke gave chase in his car, which had a young child on board.

He pursued the terrified church group, ramming and tailgating the back of the van, as the pastor tried to drive them to safety.

As the van neared the Goodna police station, Jahnke overtook it and cut them off, forcing the driver to stop.

He got out of his car armed with a metal ratchet and threw the strap at the passenger window. The window shattered and the youths were showered with glass.

When questioned by police, Jahnke admitted to being "enraged" over an earlier altercation with the group.

According to Jahnke, a member of the group had "slapped" his car and frightened his young child.

Jahnke pleaded guilty to dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, common assault and wilful damage, for the offences which occurred on July 22.

Defence lawyer Matthew Fairclough said his client had "lost his cool" in what he saw as an "unfair dispute" between the group and the situation escalated.

The court heard because Jahnke had a young child in the car while he drove dangerously, he was in an "extraordinarily difficult circumstance" of serving actual jail time.

Jahnke was on a good behaviour bond for public nuisance at the time of the offence. The case was adjourned until January 28 for Jahnke's defence to obtain a pre-sentence report.

Topics:  common assault ipswich magistrates court redbank plains



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