Man smashed into car in ‘blind rage’ at Rainbow Beach

A MAN who deliberately side-swiped a car, endangering the life of a nearby pedestrian, has described his own actions as the result of "blind rage".

Callum Jay Laird, 22, faced the Gympie Magistrates Court by video link from the Arthur Gorrie Correctional Centre yesterday after the incident on June 14.

The prosecutor told the court that Laird appeared outside his ex-girlfriend's house at Rainbow Beach that night about 11.40pm.

Witnesses said he appeared to be drunk when he demanded to see his ex-girlfriend, and others in the house told him she was out with friends.

Laird then scratched the bonnet, sides and roof of his ex-girlfriend's car with his keys, while yelling and swearing.

The prosecutor told the court Laird then returned to his car and, deliberately swerving to the left, used it to scrape the side of his ex-girlfriend's car as he drove past. One witness had been standing close to the car, signalling for Laird to stop, and had to step back in fear for their safety as Laird fled the scene.

Police didn't catch up with Laird until two days later on June 16, when they found his van parked at Inskip Point.

Officers searched the vehicle after noticing the smell of cannabis, and found utensils for smoking drugs in Laird's possession.

They arrested Laird and charged him with the dangerous operation of a vehicle, possessing drug utensils, wilful damage and trespassing.

He made full admissions to police and said the episode at his ex-girlfriend's house was "an act of blind rage".

Laird told the court he was currently unemployed and homeless, and paying restitution for damage to the car would be a struggle.

"I wish I hadn't been such an idiot," he said. "I've had a lot of trauma in my life, as a lot of people have, but it affected me badly."

He said he had been struggling with mental health issues for the past three years.

"I'm trying to get myself better," he said.

Magistrate Damien Dwyer said Laird had to take responsibility for his actions, and he had put a pedestrian's life in danger.

"It gives you no excuse to go on with the rubbish you did that day," he said.

But Mr Dwyer said Laird's early plea and lack of criminal history put him in a higher standing.

Mr Dwyer disqualified Laird's licence for a year, ordered him to pay $5960.46 restitution for damage to the car and sentenced him to 200 hours of community service with no conviction recorded.

He hoped the community service would help Laird build contacts to find a job.

"It seems you're a bit lost at the moment," he said.

Gympie Times

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