Luke Blackburn was sentenced in Maroochydore Magistrates Court today.
Luke Blackburn was sentenced in Maroochydore Magistrates Court today.

‘Heroin addict’ jailed after police pursuit of stolen car

A "HEROIN addict", who blames his descent back into drug use for his reoffending, has been jailed for 15 months.

Luke Arthur Blackburn, 33, pleaded guilty to three charges on video link in the Maroochydore Magistrates Court today, including unlawful use of a motor vehicle and evading police.

Senior Constable Lee Allen told the court that on May 18, Blackburn had stolen a vehicle from Peregian Beach and, on May 19, evaded police in Coolum Beach, where Blackburn sped off after he noticed police approaching the vehicle on foot.

"Police chased the stolen vehicle but due to the defendant's driving behaviour which indicated to police the defendant's motivation to avoid apprehension, that pursuit was stopped," he said.

"Early the following morning, police located the vehicle extensively damaged. That damage was caused as a result of high-speed collision into a guardrail, resulting in the airbags being deployed and significant front-end damage."

The court heard Blackburn has been convicted of several unlawful uses of motor vehicle offences in his criminal history.

In April 2018 in Bundaberg, a victim was driving a vehicle and sighted a male assaulting a female, which the court heard was Blackburn and his mother. The victim stopped the vehicle to assist the woman and left his keys in the ignition and door open. Blackburn then entered the vehicle and drove off.

The court also heard in April 2018 that in a shopping centre carpark, a lady was placing her groceries in her vehicle in company of her seven-year-old son, and had left her keys in the ignition. Blackburn entered the driver's seat of the vehicle. The victim leaned into the passenger side and attempted to move the keys from the ignition and Blackburn accelerated forward, with the boot still open and the victim half in the car.

He was jailed for 12 months on this offence.

In April 2018, Blackburn stole a vehicle, fell asleep at the wheel while using it and crashed into a paddock. He was jailed for nine months.

Duty lawyer Michael Robertson told the court Blackburn's drug history began at the age of 16.

"He has been a heroin addict for more than 10 years," he said.

"He finds it hard to avoid drugs in jail. He keeps using in jail and then still has the habit when he's released."

Mr Robertson said there was a five-year period in Blackburn's history where he did not reoffend, until he was hooked into a "stupid scheme" in 2016 and attempted to supply his brother with drugs in prison.

"Since that, he's been back in the drug scene and his meth habit came back," he said.

The court heard Blackburn had only moved to the Sunshine Coast in May, after being contacted by his ex-girlfriend to supply her drugs.

Magistrate Hayden Stjernqvist had stern words for his drug use and recidivist offending.

"The problem with people like you that have an addiction to drugs, there is absolutely no empathy or consideration for anyone else in the community," he said.

"They were really serious offences of unlawful use of motor vehicles, particularly that lady in the shopping centre in the carpark with her son."

Blackburn was jailed for 15 months, with convictions recorded.

His 24 days in pre-sentence custody were declared and he was given a parole release date of October 22, 2020.

Blackburn was also disqualified from driving for two years.



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