Police intercept a stolen Blue Care van with a 73-year-old male patient in the back. Two males were taken into custody at the scene.
Police intercept a stolen Blue Care van with a 73-year-old male patient in the back. Two males were taken into custody at the scene.

Blue Care bus bandit faces further charges in court

A REPEAT offender with a need for speed has faced up to further car theft charges in court today after he was jailed last month for a joy ride with a dementia patient on board.

Jarred Taylor Stafford, 21, faced Maroochydore Magistrates Court on multiple charges including unlawful use of motor vehicles, fraud and enter premises and commit indictable offence.

The charges were the second part of Stafford’s sentencing after he and co-accused Dean Robert Richards, 24, were jailed earlier this year.

They attempted to evade police after stealing a Blue Care van and taking it for a joy ride across the Sunshine Coast with a dementia patient on-board.

The court heard that prior to the joy ride, Stafford had cut off his GPS tracking bracelet after being released on parole five days earlier.

The court also heard that a drug fuelled crime spree over a period of seven days involved Stafford and a group of people entering a clothing store and running out with a bunch of clothes, to the value of about $100.

Stafford and co-accused Richards had also attempted to steal a Ford Mustang before they were interrupted by the victim’s son and fled the scene.

Video footage later positively identified both defendants, and found Stafford’s fingerprints on the passenger side of the car and on the keys which were found in possession of Richards.

Two further cars were stolen in the crime spree, including a Mazda and a white Commodore.

The court heard they used stolen credit card multiple times for various purchases.

The court also heard that Stafford had six pages of criminal history, mainly consisting of drug and dishonesty charges.

It included a two-year sentence in 2017 for attempted robbery while armed and 10 months for unlawful use of a motor vehicle in 2019.

Sentencing remarks from Judge Glen Cash for last month’s district court sentencing of common assault, unlawful use of a motor vehicle, and deprivation of liberty described Stafford as having a very concerning criminal history.

“He’s a young man with a significant drug problems who has taken some courses in prison,” the remarks read.

“You’re young enough so I hope you get some support for your drug problem so you don’t reoffend.”

Mr Madsen said while considering Stafford’s sentence against Richards’, it appeared that besides the unfortunate drug induced spree with a 76-year-old dementia patient, Richards’ history seemed to drop away whereas Stafford’s seemed to escalate.

“I am certainly aware of the role Mr Stafford has played in the offending,” Mr Madsen said.

“Members of the public would be concerned if there wasn’t a significant sentence imposed considering the GPS bracelet was found discarded at a sports centre.”

Stafford was jailed for 16 months.

The sentence took into account 112 days served in pre-sentence custody.

Stafford was given a parole release date of July 15.