Driver jailed after man loses ear
THE driver in a horrific smash at Gatton, in which a teenager had to have his ear amputated, ploughed through a stop sign while doing almost 60kmh over the speed limit.
Jake Eithan Shackleton, now 20, flipped his airborne car before it rolled and smashed into another car on Woodlands Rd, Gatton on September 18, 2010.
Shackleton was doing speeds of up to 118kmh in a 60 zone before the accident. He sustained serious head injuries in the crash, including a fractured skull and blood clots on his brain.
His three passengers were also injured, with one losing his ear and suffering a collapsed lung and fractured vertebrae.
Crown prosecutor Kris Ashen told Ipswich District Court the offences of speeding and going through the stop sign were significant features.
"Mr Shackleton has behaved like a hoon, clearly in circumstances when he shouldn't be driving fast," Mr Ashen said.
Mr Ashen tendered 11 photos of the crash and three photos of the victim who lost his ear.
Shackleton pleaded guilty to dangerous operation of a motor vehicle while speeding causing grievous bodily harm.
He also pleaded guilty to assault occasioning bodily harm and common assault following a fight in Gatton on November 14, 2010.
The court was told Shackleton punched two men, causing swelling and bruising, while on bail for the dangerous operation charge, outside a Gatton hotel in the early hours of the morning.
Shackleton was sentenced to two and a half years prison and will be released on parole on December 20.
He was also disqualified from driving for two years.
Defence barrister Andrew West said since the crash his client had suffered personal shame and embarrassment when he saw his friends.
Mr West said Shackleton had a young child and had spent some time working in the mines before being sentenced so he could save some money for his partner and child.
Judge Deborah Richards told Shackleton he was "so lucky" he hadn't killed anyone.
"The psychological report speaks favourably of your capacity to knuckle down and get on with life, but one can't ignore the severity of what you've done," Judge Richards said.
Judge Richards said Shackleton was still a young man who had proven he could be a valuable member of the community upon his release from prison.