A 22-year-old Gladstone man pleaded guilty to robbery whilst pretending to be armed.
A 22-year-old Gladstone man pleaded guilty to robbery whilst pretending to be armed.

Taxi robber had a ‘bad trip’ on LSD

A 22-year-old Gladstone man was under the influence of LSD when he robbed a taxi driver, threatening her with a knife on the anniversary of his son's death, a court has heard.

Tyrone Jay Irwin, now 23, pleaded guilty in Gladstone District Court yesterday to robbery whilst pretending to be armed, three counts of serious assault, contravene requirement of police, driving without a licence, two counts of fare evasion, fail to comply with court order on restricted licence, three counts of fail to appear, two counts of wilful damage, safe but otherwise defective vehicle and one other offence.

Crown prosecutor Tiffany Lawrence told the court the offending occurred between March 2018 and September 2019, with the most serious offences on September 4.

The court was told Irwin approached a 22-year-old taxi driver at a car wash and asked if she was still working at 4.45am.

He was driven to Glen Eden where he said he was searching for a car then asked to be taken to Glenlyon St.

Upon arrival he removed an item from his bag, put a blue towel over his hand and said to the driver "you look like a really nice chick, if you co-operate with me I won't hurt you. Now listen to everything I say, I have a knife, if you don't want me to hurt you give me all the money you have."

She tried to activate the panic button and told Irwin to get out of the car. Irwin threatened to stab and shoot her and told the driver he had been paid to do this.

The court heard Irwin stole her handbag, which contained a black purse, sunglasses, various cards and $6, and left on foot.

Irwin was located by police on the same day hiding in a cupboard.

Upon arrest he began thrashing and kicking at police, kicking one officer to the chest.

He was transported to the watch house and when the rear door was open he was hitting himself in the face and screaming loudly.

When he was told to get out of the car, a police officer took hold of his feet and he kicked out and struck her in the forearm. Other officers intervened and used a taser to subdue him.

Defence barrister Maree Willey said her client, a father of four, had grown up with issues in the home as a result of his father's drug habit.

She said on Irwin's 16th birthday his father didn't have a present so he gave him meth. From there he used meth sporadically, however his usage increased over time.

Ms Willey said in 2017 he was diagnosed with ADHD, anxiety and intellectual impairment and was referred to a psychiatrist but could not afford it, however began taking medication.

On September 4, 2017, his four-month-old son died and Irwin's meth use increased.

Ms Willey said at the time of the offence he was not taking his medication and had a "bad trip" while was under the influence of LSD.

She said her client had expressed remorse and upon release hoped to attend a rehabilitation facility.

Judge Craig Chowdhury said Irwin needed to stop using amphetamines and the community would not tolerate violent drug addicts.

Irwin was sentenced to three years and nine months imprisonment, eligible for parole on November 3, with 254 days already served.