A MAN who smashed a taxi with a baseball bat then kicked the driver in a frightening road rage attack on the Gold Coast, has been sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment.
Samuel Walter Birch, 34, pleaded guilty in the Southport Magistrates Court yesterday to a string of offences committed while on parole, including going armed to cause fear, causing wilful damage and common assault.
Birch had been on the run from police for months when he parked in a car parking spot which belonged to a taxi driver in an Arundel apartment complex on January 24 this year.
Stephen Webster, the taxi driver, then parked behind Birch’s car, blocking it.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Michael Campbell said Birch swore at Mr Webster, then reversed into his car, causing it to roll backwards.
Sgt Campbell said Birch got out of his vehicle in a state of rage, holding a baseball bat in a menacing manner.
“The defendant has then swung the baseball bat at the back of the taxi, smashing the glass of the back windscreen and denting the area to the left side of the windscreen,” he said.
He said the victim got out of the taxi but Birch began to swing the baseball bat at him.
“The victim had to move out of the way to avoid being hit,” Sgt Campbell said.
“The defendant lunged forward and kicked the victim with his right foot.”
Sgt Campbell said Birch threatened to kill the taxi driver, then got in his car and reversed out of the carpark, scraping the rear mudguard corner.
Solicitor Jason Grant said his client instructed he had parked in the gentleman’s car park then some words were exchanged.
“His concern at that point — obviously he was a man on the run — was that he wanted to get out with his car,” he said.
“He has then taken the baseball bat and, as per the facts, he advanced with that baseball bat.”
Mr Grant said his client was thrown into a “state of turmoil” after getting out of custody to find he wasn’t the only person in his former partner’s life. Magistrate Jacqueline Payne said Birch had a significant history of violence and had spent a lot of time in prison.
“For whatever reason, you have a disposition towards violence,” she said.
“Going to prison is unlikely to make any difference in that regard, other than the choices you now make.”
She sentenced him to 12 months’ jail and set his parole eligibility for this December.