Donald William Palframan, 34, from Mackay pleaded guilty to four charges in Mackay Magistrates Court on Friday.
Donald William Palframan, 34, from Mackay pleaded guilty to four charges in Mackay Magistrates Court on Friday. Facebook

Caught with $11,600 tainted cash after fleeing from crash

A MACKAY learner driver who crashed a stolen car into a tree while on parole paid a truck driver to help him flee the scene.

But police tracked down Donald William Palframan, 34, soon after the Mackay Harbour crash on October 4, finding him in possession of $11,600 cash stashed in a bum bag, 6.2g of marijuana and a used glass pipe.

A member of the public who witnessed the crash on Ron Searle Drive captured a video of Palframan and an associate running from the scene on their mobile phone.

Additionally, tell-tale contusions on Palframan and his unlicensed passenger's shoulders, a result of the collision, linked the pair to the badly damaged Toyota Camry.

Palframan, who has a record of drug and weapon offences, fronted Mackay Magistrates Court via videolink from prison on Friday, where he'd served time since October 5 for separate matters.

He pleaded guilty to possessing tainted property, the cash, possessing marijuana, possessing drug utensils and failing to comply with learner licence legislation (to be properly supervised).

No charge of unlawful use of a vehicle or a similar allegation was put forward by the prosecution - despite the Toyota being identified by police as stolen - and no charge was pending before the courts, documents show.

Prosecutor Senior Constable Duncan Erskine, who provided the facts of the case, described Palframan's traffic record as "terrible".

"He's recently, in the last three years, had periods of imprisonment for drug-related offences. Admittedly, however some of those were coupled with weapon-related offences," he said.

" ... he has a dangerous driving offence from the Supreme Court on that traffic history. Here we have the defendant again in 2017 crashing a stolen vehicle, running from the vehicle, trying to get away with a truck driver with over $10,000 in cash and drugs on him."

 

Police were called to the scene at Ron Searle Dr after this car crashed into a tree.
Police were called to the scene at Ron Searle Dr after this car crashed into a tree. Jacob Miley

Defence solicitor Chris Colwill, of BC&A Lawyers, said his client had exacerbated a pre-existing back injury in the crash, and asked for that to be taken into account.

Palframan was described as "largely complying with parole" - apart from the offences before the court.

Mr Colwill added Palframan had been under pressure at the time of the crash; struggling to pay OzCare for accommodation and with the death of his grandfather.

"He tells me that he was trying to do the right thing. He's clearly offended. He tells me that he's been going through a lot," he said.

"He tells me that he was under a lot of stress at the time, financial stress ... "

Mr Colwill conceded his client did have "significant history" and a jail term was likely.

Magistrate Scott Luxton took into account an early guilty plea and said, as is normal, he would "reduce the penalties I would otherwise impose".

"There's obviously a saving to the state of Queensland. in terms of prosecution and court resources ... ," he said.

The magistrate described Palframan's prior and current offending as all linked to the use of drugs, but added there was a gap in offending between 2006 and 2015.

Mr Luxton noted Palframan's actions were aggravated by the fact he had been on parole.

Palframan was fined $400 and sentenced to serve nine months jail, but considering time served he'll be eligible for parole on December 4.

The $11,600 cash and other items seized will be officially forfeited to the Crown.


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