A man has pleaded guilty to a home invasion in which a Prado was taken and later burned.
A man has pleaded guilty to a home invasion in which a Prado was taken and later burned. David Nielsen

Home invasion driver says he didn't know what was happening

THE get-away driver involved in a violent early morning home invasion on an elderly Ipswich couple did not know what was happening inside the house, a court has heard.

Michael Arthur O'Shea was responsible for driving the get-away car after a group of men stormed the Pine Mountain home in the early hours of January 13 last year.

He didn't know what was happening inside the house but knew restraints and zip ties were involved.

They were used to restrain an elderly couple while their home was ransacked.

Close to $60,000 worth of guns, cash and jewellery was taken along with the couple's Toyota Prado car.

O'Shea was also ordered to buy petrol which was ultimately used to torch Les and Evelyn Ray's car.

They drove the car to Grandchester and poured petrol on it, setting it alight.

Ipswich District Court on Friday heard O'Shea was ordered to do a 'dry run' which involved him scoping the area for police and alerting the co-accused to police activity in the area.

Crown prosecutor Noel Needham said O'Shea had a "relatively peripheral" role in the robbery and helped to hide the stolen property.

"He was clearly not a driving mover and was being used at the hands of another person," Mr Needham said.

"There is no golden rule in sentencing that a get-away driver should receive a discount.

"He was not privy to what was going on inside the house but simply contributed to the execution."

O'Shea pleaded guilty to eight offences including arson, common assault, deprivation of liberty, armed robbery and unlawful use of a motor vehicle.

He was sentenced to three years imprisonment wholly suspended for five years.


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