I shouldn't have pleaded guilty to kidnapping, the man told Queensland Court of Appeal.
I shouldn't have pleaded guilty to kidnapping, the man told Queensland Court of Appeal. Kgbo/CreativeCommons

Drunk carjacking snake removalist says jail term too harsh

A CARJACKER says his jail term for kidnapping is too harsh and he never meant to threaten anyone when using a knife in the crime.

One-time snake removalist Jamie Christopher Nelson-Adams, who was also jailed for squeezing a girl's breast, said he sacrificed a shot at parole in order to make his appeal.

On Thursday, the former Tweed Heads man told Queensland Court of Appeal he made a mistake pleading guilty to kidnapping.

Last year, he was sentenced to four years' jail but was eligible for parole on March 5.

But Nelson-Adams told the appeal court parole was set up "to fail” and his overall sentence was too long.

He said psychosis, lack of sleep, not taking medication and drunkenness were factors in his offending.

Nelson-Adams, in his early 30s, was pretending to be on his phone when a woman approached at a Robina car park.

When the 22-year-old got into her car, Nelson-Adams got in too, demanding she go to Southport.

He showed his knife but denied using this to threaten her.

"What was the knife for?” Justice David Boddice asked.

Nelson-Adams said he took the sheathed knife from his "back pocket” because it was uncomfortable.

The woman stymied Nelson-Adams when she suddenly stopped the car outside a Gold Coast police station.

"I don't know how you can produce a knife, when you're taking someone's car, not in a threatening way,” Court of Appeal President Walter Sofronoff said.

But Justice Sofronoff acknowledged Nelson-Adams did not have a violent history.

"He carries knives a lot and gets arrested, but he doesn't actually assault anybody. He steals things.”

Nelson-Adams said if he'd gone before a jury he could have successfully fought the kidnapping charge and been convicted on a less serious charge.

"I'm afraid once you plead guilty, that's it, that's an admission. You can't change your mind later,” Justice Sofronoff said.

Crown prosecutor Jodie Wooldridge said Nelson-Adams had a criminal history "some 25 pages” long and was a mature man at the time of the offences.

The appeal court judges dismissed Nelson-Adams's application for leave to appeal. -NewsRegional