Crime spree on Ipswich Mwy 'ends with a thud'

HIS erratic driving along the Ipswich Motorway ended with a thud - when misbehaving driver Michael Whelan crashed into a side barrier.

But there was more to come as Whelan, still running from police, knocked on the window of a woman's car trying to get in. He told her to get out. She refused and drove off.

A man working on a car beside the road saw Whelan get inside and unsuccessfully try to start it.

The man told him to get out and Whelan hit him with a bag of tools.

Whelan's dangerous antics were revealed when he pleaded guilty in custody before Ipswich Magistrate Andy Cridland.

Michael James Whelan, 35, from Wynnum, was charged with dangerous operation of a vehicle; attempted robbery/threaten violence; attempted unlawful entry of motor vehicle; attempted unlawful use of motor vehicles; and four drug offences unrelated to the driving matters.

Prosecutor Rachael Eapen said the road offences occurred on the Ipswich Motorway and Brisbane Road, around Gailes on July 6 last year.

A civilian witness estimated Whelan's speed at about 150km/h.

"The end result was you crashed into a side barrier. Quite clearly that behaviour was dangerous to you and others using the motorway at the time," he said.

Mr Cridland said Whelan was "anxious to depart the scene" and this effectively brought other charges that would have been intimidating to the people by having man rushing to the woman's car and Whelan ordering her out.

Whelan had already spent 140 days in custody since his arrest in early October.

Whelan was convicted and sentenced to 18 months in jail for the driving offences. He received one month in jail for the drug matters, to be served concurrently.

With time served he was given immediate parole. Whelan was disqualified from driving for 12 months.

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