Man’s car stolen at gunpoint in front driveway

AN Ipswich woman has been jailed over her role in the terrifying armed robbery of a man in his front driveway.

A court heard this week the victim had a gun pointed at his head by an alleged co-offender, then watched helplessly as two people took off in his Holden Commodore.

The offenders abandoned the car just minutes later, with a co-offender allegedly smashing his way into a house to steal another car from a terrified woman.

Sahara Wade appeared before Ipswich District Court via video-link for sentence this week in relation to her role in the offences.

Sahara Jane Wade, 30, a mother of three from Leichhardt, pleaded guilty to armed robbery in company at Ripley on November 14 last year; and receiving tainted property.

Wade pleaded guilty to a new indictment after the Crown prosecution withdrew its previous indictment that included charges of unlawful use of a stolen vehicle, and robbery when armed/or pretending to be armed with an offensive weapon.

Wade had already been in jail on remand for just over eight months.

Crown prosecutor James Bishop said the victim of the first carjacking was in a driveway when Wade and an alleged co-offender, who cannot be named for legal reasons, drove onto his front yard in a black car.

A gun was pointed at the man's face and he was ordered to get out of his car several times.

Mr Bishop said the driver got out and Wade and a co-offender got in.

The stolen car was found by police abandoned at the Yamanto exit of the Cunningham Highway.

The offenders ran into a nearby housing estate where a woman in her home saw a man walk into her backyard.

He was seen using a broom to break the glass door.

The frightened woman fled.

The man, whose charges are still before the courts, was alleged to have entered and stolen her car key and handbag.

Judge Dennis Lynch QC asked why Wade was not charged with unlawful use of the first vehicle.

Mr Bishop said he was unsure.

Judge Lynch raised further concerns, saying it would be legally incorrect to rely on the taking of the car as robbery, as it was unlawful use.

He said the facts showed the car was abandoned 15 minutes later, and he could not assume that the intention had been to permanently deprive the owner of his motor vehicle.

Judge Lynch said he was not inclined to accept that as being part of the circumstances of the robbery charge.

The sentencing was interrupted soon after with another fresh indictment that held the charge of unlawful use of a motor vehicle. Wade pleaded guilty.

Defence barrister Rob Carroll said Wade suffered significant trauma as a child, and more recently as a mother with the accidental death of a child in 2015.

Judge Lynch said it was 7.10am when Wade's co-accused appeared at the door of the middle-aged man's car with a gun, threatening him and demanding he get out of the car.

The court heard Wade was not charged over the theft of the second vehicle.

Judge Lynch found Wade's role to be "much less significant" than that alleged of her co-accused.

Wade was sentenced to a three-year jail term for the armed robbery and 18 months jail for the unlawful use. With a concurrent 12-month term for the receiving stolen property charge.

She must serve 10 months before being released on parole. With over eight months already served she will be released from jail in September.


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