Passenger caused crash by pulling on handbrake during row

A TEENAGE passenger caused a two-vehicle crash when he pulled on the handbrake of a moving car during a drunken row.

Anthony Daniel Tensek Beattie grabbed the lever after he threatened his friend at the wheel.

The car, which had been travelling along Pine St in North Ipswich, skidded across the road and smashed into an oncoming vehicle.

At Ipswich Magistrates Court this week, Beattie pleaded guilty to one charge of dangerous operation of a vehicle.

Magistrate Virginia Sturgess said the crash, which took place on July 31, caused almost $8000 worth of damage.

Ms Sturgess said Beattie's actions could have easily caused a more serious accident.

"You were obviously under the influence of alcohol at the time," Ms Sturgess told Beattie. "It was fortunate no one was injured."

In addition to the offence, the 19-year-old factory worker was also charged for repeatedly using a stolen credit card.

He pleaded guilty to receiving stolen goods and seven counts of dishonest application of property.

Ms Sturgess said Beattie used the card to buy $334.70 worth of goods in an hour on September 14.

When he was caught by police, Beattie told officers he had been given the card by a stranger and told to "go crazy" with it.

"Obviously people don't hand out their own credit cards for you to use," Ms Sturgess said.

"You knew full well it was a stolen card and used it as quickly as you could in a short space of time."

Ms Sturgess noted Beattie had a "significant" criminal history and that these most recent offences took place while he was on a suspended sentence.

Defence lawyer Natasha Shorter said Beattie was a talented football player who had played A grade union and league.

Ms Shorter said her client had an issue with drugs and alcohol, which affected his ability to make rational decisions when under the influence.

She said the latest offences had been a "real wake-up" call for Beattie and he had enrolled in a drug and alcohol counselling.

Ms Sturgess said Beattie had showed disregard for the law - even with the suspended sentence hanging over his head.

Beattie was sentenced to a year in prison with a parole release date of May 9.

He was also disqualified from driving for six months and ordered to pay $8298.06 in restitution for the damaged vehicles and stolen credit card.

Topics:  dangerous operation of a vehicle ipswich magistrates court traffic collision

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