Armed man threatens Ipswich mum and kids in driveway

AN IPSWICH mum was in her driveway in broad daylight with her young child and baby when a man threatened her with a knife, demanding her car.

Collin James Purcell was fresh from trying to rob a service station attendant at knife point earlier the same day when he threatened the family at Eastern Heights in September last year.

The same day Purcell, 21, stole a knife from a home and tried to break into another two houses.

Two days later he was in possession of stolen car keys and was seen driving a stolen car at Booval before he was involved in a fuel drive-off.

A week later Purcell was caught driving another stolen car and when police tried to stop him he sped off before he crashed the car.

In sentencing in Ipswich District Court yesterday, Crown prosecutor Noel Needham said Purcell's habit of stealing cars was a regular feature of his criminal history.

The court heard Purcell had been in custody for much of his adult life and admitted to doctors he used drugs while in custody and immediately after he was released.

"He (has been) taking vehicles and doing with them what he wishes and that has escalated to him threatening violence and being armed with a weapon," Mr Needham said.

"It was very concerning for the complainant who was in the driveway of her own home.

"He was under the influence of drugs which had been his undoing. He is a very young man with a very poor history of this nature."

Defence lawyer Vince Knox said Purcell's "old habits came back to him each time he got out".

"He wasn't thinking very cleverly at all," Mr Knox said.

Purcell pleaded guilty to 12 charges including attempted armed robbery, attempted unlawful use of a vehicle, entering a dwelling, going armed as to cause fear, stealing and armed robbery with violence and two counts each of attempted enter premises, receiving tainted property ans unlawful use of a vehicle.

He was sentenced to a head sentence of four years and three months imprisonment with parole eligibility on May 10.

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