‘Sorry love’ thief shoves woman from moving car

RUNNING from police Jarad O'Donohue jumped into the back of a woman's car and demanded she drive saying "Sorry love I'm taking your car."

She refused and the ice-affected intruder clambered into the front seat. In a struggle he pushed her out of the moving car and onto the road.

Ipswich District Court heard O'Donohue did his nasty deed three months after release from jail for crimes of demanding property with menaces when armed, assault and stealing.

Appearing in the dock Jarad Leo O'Donohue, 31, pleaded guilty to his latest round of offending - Unlawful entry to a motor vehicle with intent and using violence at Leichhardt on May 28, 2019; unlawful use of a motor vehicle (Hyundai Santa Fe); wilful damage to part of the motor vehicle; dangerous driving by excessive speeding at Karrabin, Wulkuraka, along the Warrego Highway on-ramp and Rosewood Road; and two charges of attempted unlawful entry of motor vehicles with intent.

Crown prosecutor Matt Le Grand said O'Donohue had a lengthy and relevant criminal history and had served jail terms.

He said other sentencing judges had commented that O'Donohue's deep-seated drug addiction was behind his offending, and warned him that if he did not resolve this problem he would continue going in and out of jail.

The new offences began at 7am on May 28 when Ipswich police dropped by O'Donohue's home to arrest him on a return to custody warrant.

O'Donohue fled the Leichhardt house and jumped the back fence then came across a woman in her Hyundai Santa Fe with its engine idling.

He got onto the floor of the back seat and yelled at her to drive.

Mr Le Grand said O'Donohue climbed over the centre console telling the woman he was taking her car.

The woman tried to get the her car keys while she and O'Donohue were both in the driver's seat.

He told her to get out or both would be killed then while it was moving he pushed her from the Santa Fe.

Mr Le Grand said the woman slid along the road suffering bruises and gravel rash.

O'Donohue drove the stolen car to another house where he swapped its rego plates.

Police saw him again and pursued him with O'Donohue driving at excessive speeds and crossing over double lanes to overtake other vehicles.

The car-jacker only stopped after police deployed road stingers to deflate the tyres. O'Donohue ran from the stranded Santa Fe toward other cars and tried to open their doors to get in.

A car door was badly damaged after he pulled it open and it was struck by a police motor bike.

O'Donohue was then caught.

Mr Le Grand said the woman had suffered anxiety and left feeling too scared to go out.

"This offending is his latest in a long history of offending when under the influence of drugs," Mr Le Grand said.

"The way he conducted himself posed a very real danger to her. She was pushed from a moving motor vehicle and only good fortune her injuries not worse. Or no collision occurred."

Mr Le Grand said the dangerous driving was aggravated because it was done to escape police.

The Crown submitted the starting point for sentence was 4 ½ years jail to take into account the 2 ½ months O'Donohue spent in custody that could not be declared on these charges, with a parole eligibility date set in six to 12 months.

Defence barrister Daniel Caruana said there were concerns on totality because of the existing sentence being served.

He sought a 2 ½ year jail term with parole eligibility in 3 ½ months to ensure the sentence would not be crushing.

"He wasn't intending to use violence. He simply wanted to take her car," Mr Caruana said.

"He has spent a good proportion of adult life in jail. Has very serious drug issues."

He also said O'Donohue had a child with a long term partner.

"The child is motivation to try and turn his life around."

Mr Caruana said O'Donohue was exposed to drug use as a child by his addicted parents, and was using at 13.

He said when he was able to stay off methamphetamine O'Donohue could be productive and hoped to find employment.

Judge Nicole Kefford asked O'Donohue about the issue and his intention when freed from jail.

"I will do the Subutex program and hope that deters me from using ice," he said.

"I will contact ATODS (Qld Health - Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drugs) when I get out to help me stay clean".

Judge Kefford said the woman tried to get O'Donohue out of her car after he first got onto the back floor.

When he began to drive she pleaded with him to stop.

Judge Kefford accepted it wasn't O'Donohue's intention for the victim to be harmed by his driving.

Judge Kefford sentenced him to a 2 ½ year jail term on the two most serious offences and to lesser (concurrent) jail terms.

He will be eligible to begin his parole application from June 5 and is disqualified from driving for four years.


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