Car owner stabbed after chasing down thief

A DAD was stabbed by a teenage car thief in a violent confrontation after he gave chase when his family car was stolen from an Ipswich childcare centre.

Ipswich District Court heard the victim was stabbed four times in his chest and arm, with the injuries requiring emergency surgery.

The offender, Clayton Junior Washington, 19, pleaded guilty on Monday to unlawfully wounding the 28-year-old father at Brassall on December 9, 2019; unlawful use of a stolen motor vehicle on December 9; and an unrelated charge of unlawful use of a stolen motor vehicle at Newtown between October 23 and October 27, 2019.

Washington was aged 18 at the time. He appeared in custody in the court dock having already served 350 days in jail.

Crown prosecutor Lisa Ashley said Washington had relevant history that included unlawful use, and was previously sentenced to a 15-month supervised probation order. He had also served an Intensive Corrections order in the community.

Ms Ashley said the man parked his Kia Rio outside a Brassall childcare centre at 3.45pm and went into reception to collect children.

He was told someone had jumped into his car and was driving away.

He ran outside and other witnesses helped him in trying to locate the stolen car.

The court heard the victim was driven around as they searched for the car, then on foot, and located Washington at the top of a hill holding cigarettes that he had taken from the stolen car.

When confronted Washington denied taking the car.

Washington had a concealed knife in his shirt, which he pulled out and used to stab the victim once in the left side of his chest and three times to his left arm.

The court heard the cuts went to the bone.

Washington fled the scene and the injured man was taken by ambulance to Princess Alexandra Hospital.

Washington was later arrested, admitting to police he threw the knife away in a nearby street.

At 9.45pm the stolen Rio was located and Washington's fingerprints were identified inside.

In a separate incident on October 24 last year, a Holden Commodore was stolen during a home burglary.

The court heard it was found abandoned four days later and Washington's DNA was identified on the steering wheel.

The prosecution sought a jail sentence of two to three years for the wounding, while acknowledging his youth must be taken into account.

Defence barrister Jason Buckland sought a two year jail sentence, with Washington's immediate release from jail after having spent 350 days in jail prior to being sentenced.

Mr Buckland outlined Washington's childhood difficulties with both his parents being jailed.

As a teenager he began using alcohol and cannabis then developed an ice addiction, admitting to the daily use of methylamphetamine at the time of his crimes.

He had not used drugs while in jail.

"He was happy, comfortable in the prison unit. Wanted to remain there until sentence," Mr Buckland said.

Judge Dennis Lynch QC said Washington's response to the previous probation order had been "totally inadequate."

Judge Lynch said the man left the engine running when he went inside to collect children.

When alerted someone had taken his car he went looking and eventually identified Washington as being responsible.

"You used a knife secreted in your shirt. You stabbed him three times to his arm, the wounds to the bone. You stabbed him once in the left chest wall," Judge Lynch said.

"You resorted to violence when challenged by the car owner.

"His victim impact statement speaks of suffering post trauma stress, lack of sleep, and a loss of general safety. He found it to be a disturbing incident.

"This was serious conduct that resulted in harm to a man trying to defend his own property. There is no justification in what you did."

Judge Lynch said Washington's response to his previous probation order had been "totally inadequate."

"Your cooperation with police, you are still young, and the prospects of rehabilitation is a significant sentencing consideration," Judge Lynch said.

"To take account of that I reduce your prison sentence from two years to 18 months (for the wounding)."

He received six months jail for car stealing.

With 350 days served he was was granted immediate release on parole, Judge Lynch saying that he had likely spent longer than necessary in jail.



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