Kenny Morris has been sentenced for a series of offences in Lismore District Court.
Kenny Morris has been sentenced for a series of offences in Lismore District Court.

Voices in man's head told him his mum was 'kidnapped'

A Tweed Heads man explains he led police on multiple cross border pursuits, broke into multiple homes and ran down a man with a car after hearing voices in his head telling him his mother had been kidnapped, a court heard.

Kenny Morris, 23, earlier this year pleaded guilty to stealing a car, a police pursuit, using an offensive weapon to prevent lawful detection, several break and enters and causing reckless grievous bodily harm.

Court documents revealed Morris went on a bizarre break-in rampage on March 28 last year, where he stole a blue Mitsubishi Lancer and entered four Tweed Heads units near Kennedy Dr and Grey St while the residents were home over the course of 10 hours.

During one of the breaks and enters, he pulled out a knife when the occupants told him to leave, the court heard.

Police found the stolen blue Lancer on the corner of Grey St and Kennedy Dr about 7.30pm.

Morris was seen speeding through a 50km/hr zone at 100km/hr and continued to drive through Tweed Heads streets at excessive speeds.

Police deployed road spikes on Kennedy Dr and Morris avoided them before heading towards Queensland and the pursuit was called off once he crossed the border.

 

Traffic on Kennedy Drive, West Tweed.
Traffic on Kennedy Drive, West Tweed.

 

Later that night, Morris accelerated towards and hit a man with his car outside a unit on Kennedy Dr before driving off.

The man suffered a suspected fractured cheek bone and ribs and lacerations to his hip, the court heard.

Morris was then found by police driving on the wrong side of the M1 with no lights on, causing other cars to take evasive action to avoid hitting him, court documents revealed.

When police later discovered Morris in a dead-end street, they tried to box him in with their cars but when Morris accelerated, he hit the front passenger side of a police car allowing him to escape.

Morris was forced to brake harshly to avoid another police roadblock at the intersection of Gollan Dr before reaching speeds of 120km/hr on Kennedy Dr and deliberately going onto the wrong side of the road.

The car Morris was driving was found abandoned at Currumbin Beach.

Morris, who had abandoned the car at Currumbin Beach, then jumped into the back seat of a car parked at a Currumbin beach and asked them to drive him to Seagulls in Tweed.

Court documents state the occupants of the car dropped him outside Seagulls and he was arrested a short time later.

Morris gave evidence in court as to the reasoning behind his actions that day.

The court heard Morris, who is a diagnosed schizophrenic, has had a history of drug use and since turning 18 has only spent 21 months outside of prison.

Morris told the court about how a traumatic upbringing resulted in him taking methamphetamine at the age of 14 and heroin at 15-years old.

The court heard Morris had a history of hearing voices in his head, and he had been hearing them while serving out a prison term for a separate matter for about six months prior to the crime spree last year.

 

Traffic on Kennedy Drive, West Tweed.
Traffic on Kennedy Drive, West Tweed.

 

He told the court he had not been administered or taken his appropriate medication in the months leading up to when he committed these most recent offences.

Morris told the court he chose to take drugs in order to "to shut my emotions off and it helped me cope with what I'd gone through" even though he knew the drug use increased the volume of voices he heard in his head.

Morris said he'd been hearing voices in the months leading up to it but when he started using drugs "it got worse".

He said on the day of the offences the voices in his head had told him his mother, who he has a close relationship with, had been kidnapped and that is why he entered multiple homes looking for her.

Judge Jeffery McLennan said while he acknowledged Morris had mental health issues which contributed to his actions on March 28, he had entered a drug induced psychosis brought on by his drug use a week after leaving jail.

"I'm satisfied it is more likely than not the reason he took the motor vehicle was to provide himself with transport to assist in his irrational search for his mother," Judge McLennan said.

"(However) driving a motor vehicle in the direction of police to avoid detection is a serious matter.

"The facts are he (also) drove the vehicle at the victim.

"He drove believing was in fact his motor vehicle was in reverse gear, I'm willing to accept that … however it was clearly the case once the vehicle was put into motion it was apparent it was not in reverse and it was moving forward and there was no intention to brake."

Morris was sentenced to six years in prison, with a three-year non-parole period.

Judge McLennan said Morris, given his youth, had a chance to straighten himself out and continue to work towards rehabilitation through completing his business studies in Clarence Correctional Centre.

"When you're 23 years of age and you've had a messed-up start to life, nothing is straight forward."


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