Man sentenced after stealing car with baby inside
A BALLINA man who stole a car carrying a sleeping baby has been sentenced to two years imprisonment.
Last month Brandon Kelly Ames pleaded guilty to stealing a motor vehicle, unlawfully taking and driving a motor vehicle with a person in it, using an offensive weapon to prevent lawful detention, driving a motor vehicle while disqualified and shoplifting with the value less than $2000.
He had previously been disqualified from driving until May 2040.
The court heard that on December 5, Ames, who was on parole at the time of the offence, had stolen a parked idle car outside a Union St store in Lismore after he stole a bottle of drink from the same store.
The 25-year-old drove off with the vehicle, which held a 12-month-old child sleeping in a baby seat in the back seat.
He then came to a stop at traffic and was blocked in by other vehicles, including the father of the child and a police car.
Dashcam footage of the incident was played before Lismore Local Court on Friday and showed Ames had reversed and slammed the stolen car into vehicle behind him to escape.
The father of the child and another man approached the stolen car yelling at Ames to “get out of the car” and “there’s a child in the car”.
The court heard Ames was unaware the child was in the car until the altercation with the other vehicles.
The child was not harmed during the ordeal.
Ames’ solicitor Tenika Vakauta said her client was “shocked, appalled and disgraced with that occurred that day” and had never intended to involve the child.
She asked the court to consider Ames’ chances of rehabilitation
While Magistrate Michael Dakin said he it was clear in the dashcam footage Ames only became aware of the child when the father approached him, he said he would only consider a term of imprisonment for sentencing.
“(His record) leads me to conclude his prospect of rehabilitation as he stands before the court seems to be poor,” Mr Dakin said.
“One can’t simply complain they were unaware of the presence of the baby of the car.”
Ames was sentenced to two years imprisonment, to commence on June 20, 2020, with a non-parole period of 18 months.
He was also sentenced to six months imprisonment to commence on December 20, 2020.
Ames will be eligible for parole in December 2021.