Thief cheekily toots horn as he drives off with victim's car

IN what an Ipswich magistrate called "a brazen act" a car thief cheekily tooted the horn as he drove away from the victim's home.

He had mates with him, including one who has previously been sentenced for her role in the escapade.

Appearing in the dock of Ipswich Magistrates Court, Nathan Ernest John Mahoney, 24, from Goodna, pleaded guilty to two counts of unlawful use of a motor vehicle; dangerous operation of a motor vehicle; deprivation of liberty/unlawfully detain; driving when disqualified; stealing; unlawful entry of a motor vehicle; making a threat to kill; and other offences.

Magistrate Donna MacCallum said the car keys had been taken from inside the house at Fernvale on June 21.

She said the stolen car was then driven in a dangerous manner.

From police prosecution facts, Mahoney was seen by police to be speeding on the Warrego Hwy, weaving through traffic, later driving the wrong way on a round-about.

Ms MacCallum said that in his attempt to avoid tyre stingers, Mahoney drove onto the wrong side of the road causing other drivers to take evasive action.

Then, with police in pursuit, he turned across traffic and drove on the wrong side of Waterworks Rd and Pine Mountain Rd, again forcing innocent motorists to steer clear.

The car mounted a gutter, driving along a footpath, before being abandoned at Riverlink Shopping Centre, where Mahoney and a passenger decamped.

Ms MacCallum said Mahoney used a phone to say there was a child in the car and threatened to take the child's life as well as his own.

This had caused the police concern when trying to intercept the car and at the dangerous way it was being driven.

She said one incident had Mahoney getting into a man's car, threatening the man in order to get him to drive.

The driver later pulled over and Mahoney got out.

The court heard Mahoney had seven prior offences for car stealing.

Mahoney was sentenced to 18 months jail and to lesser jail terms.

He had already spent 132 days in custody and will be eligible for parole release on December 21.

His licence was disqualified for three years. He also received a two year, $2000 good behaviour bond.

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