VIDEO: Car thief's driving spooks cows ready for milking
SPOOKED dairy cows bolted when a car thief cowboy behind the wheel of a stolen Toyota ute came barrelling through their paddock, as a police helicopter tracked him from above.
There was no stopping Andrew Robert Daley as he bounced his way across paddocks, zigzagged around trees, crashed through farm fences and gates.
After a wild drive weaving between cars and trucks at speed down the Warrego Highway there was no escaping the police eye in the sky and officers grabbed him in an Ipswich suburb.
The stolen Toyota Landcruiser also had an embedded GPS tracking device.
It was his 28th offence for driving stolen cars.
Looking subdued with a deep frown, Daley, 44, from Telina in Gladstone, stood in the dock of Ipswich Magistrates Court and pleaded guilty to dangerous operation of a motor vehicle; unlawful use of a motor vehicle; driving when disqualified; having false registration plates; and three counts of wilful damage.
Prosecutor Sergeant Nicholas Turnbull said the GPS tracking device showed the white ute was stolen from a shed at Forest Hill at 2.55am on June 13.
Its owner contacted police at 2pm after monitoring its movements in the Ipswich region.
Sgt Turnbull said Rosewood police put stingers on a road but Daley drove around the devices, nearly colliding with a police officer.
He then drove the ute across farms and damaged barbed wire fences and gates before getting onto the Warrego Highway, where the Polair helicopter crew tracked and filmed the fleeing ute.
The footage showing his dangerous driving was shown to magistrate Donna MacCallum.
The ute was driven through paddocks, panicking a herd of cows ready to be milked.
The spooked cows fled ahead of the ute.
Sgt Turnbull told the court that the farmer had told investigating officers the erratic driving caused stress to his cows and there had been a subsequent loss in milk.
One damaged farm gate cost $1045 to repair.
Daley was finally arrested at Ipswich on Pine Mountain Rd.
Sgt Turnbull said Daley had attached false rego plates made of cardboard and paper to the ute.
"He has a shocking criminal and traffic history," Sgt Turnbull said.
"He has 27 prior offences for unlawful use of motor vehicles.
"Two previous for dangerous operation of a motor vehicle. Ten priors for driving when disqualified."
Police sought a jail term of 18 months each for the two most serious offences.
Defence lawyer Matthew Fairclough said the film footage "speaks for itself" about his offending but at the time Daley had drug issues with ice that had flared as a result of a relationship breakdown and the death of a close friend.
He had since spent 155 days in custody.
Ms MacCallum said he has shown little regard for laws and court orders, his driving clearly putting the lives of road users at risk.
Daley was sentenced to 18 months jail (cumulative) for both the unlawful use and dangerous operation offences, 12 months jail for driving when disqualified.
He was disqualified from driving for three years with a release date of December 13.