'Putrid': Group's sinister theft plot targets elderly woman
A MAN involved in the sinister ruse of a 65-year-old woman during a week-long theft crime spree has been sentenced to three years in jail.
Luke Joseph Bligh was one of five people charged over a large crime spree car chase that ended in Gladstone on July 2 when police deployed stingers to stop a stolen Jeep Grand Cherokee near the intersection of Glenlyon Rd and Dalrymple Dr.
He pleaded guilty via video in the District Court at Gladstone on Thursday to several charges including enter dwelling with intent and threaten violence in company, seven counts of unlawful use of a motor vehicle, one count of the unlawful use of a motor vehicle to commit an indictable offence, two counts of stealing and two counts of attempted.
At the time police reported the group was responsible for more than 40 police incidents including thefts, attempted thefts, unlawful use of vehicles and break-ins across the state.
Police alleged more than 10 cars were stolen during the spree, including a pink Yaris from a 65-year-old woman who lived on a rural property near Gympie.
The court was told on June 30 about 6.10pm a woman of the offending group entered the elderly woman's home and made up a story she was being chased by an ex-partner who had a gun.
The elderly woman was surprised by the uninvited guest but offered to call the police, the court was told.
The offending woman asked the woman to drive her and her brother away from the property.
The elderly woman became suspicious. She said she didn't drive at night time and reached for her keys to hide them.
In walked Bligh and another man, and the pair snatched the woman's phone from her hand and wrestled free her car key, the court was told.
The group left in her vehicle which was found abandoned the next day.
Crown prosecutor Alex Baker told the court the group "left havoc in their wake" stealing cars and abandoning them several times.
Bligh has been in custody since his arrest in July and has spent 283 days behind bars.
Defence barrister Tom Polley said his client "felt putrid" for all the people that were victimised by his offending.
Mr Polley said his client had issues with drugs which consequently led him to offending.
Judge Michael Burnett said Bligh was "a danger to the community".
Judge Burnett imposed a three year jail term with parole release on July 1 2019, taking into account time Bligh already served.
Gregory James Coulson, 38 was dealt with in September for his involvement in the offending and received six months jail but given parole eligibility that month.
He also received nine months.
The remaining co-accused have ongoing matters in court.