Man 'lucky' to be sentenced after high-speed horror crash
A PRISONER was told to regard his sentence as a "privilege" as it meant he had walked away from a horrific crash he caused while "astonishingly" high on drugs.
Brent David Chalklen, 43, ruptured his spleen when he drove almost double the speed limit in a 60kmh zone, spun sideways and slammed into a pole at the Maroochydore Homemakers Centre access the night of January 21.
He pleaded guilty on Thursday to the dangerous operation of his motor vehicle while adversely affected by high levels of at least three prescription drugs he was addicted to, including benzodiazepines (valium).
"You were lucky to walk away with a ruptured spleen, you're privileged to be sitting here being sentenced by the look at the state of that car," Magistrate Haydn Stjernqvist said, referencing photos prosecutor James Allen had tendered to court.
Defence lawyer Ben Rynderman put forward an impassioned case that his client's suffering as a result of the crash, and further injuries sustained in jail-house bashings, were significant extra-curial punishments which should be considered in sentencing.
Magistrate Haydn Stjernqvist took a less sympathetic view and said Chalklen had voluntarily taken the mixture of drugs and a ruptured spleen was a "consequence".
"He's a menace to society," Mr Stjernqvist went on to say as he reached page two of Chalklen's 29-page New South Wales criminal history.
Mr Stjernqvist noted Chalklen wasted no time starting his criminal career once he moved to Queensland.
Mr Rynderman told the court Chalklen's life went "sideways" after he suffered a blood clot in his leg several years ago.
He told the court this cost Chalklen his truck driver job and had been a catalyst in his debilitating addiction to benzo diazepam.
In sentencing, Mr Stjernqvist placed weight on personal and general deterrence, but stated court orders had failed to stop Chalklen offending over the past 30 years.
Chalklen received a 12-month jail term with parole release today after the 81 days in custody he had already served.
He was disqualified from driving for 18 months.