Cody Cortes, 21, walked from Brisbane District Court on Thursday.
Cody Cortes, 21, walked from Brisbane District Court on Thursday.

‘Out of control’ carjacker trashes $50,000 car

A RECKLESS driver who flipped a stolen car on a highway, headbutted a man and burned a $50,000 vehicle during a three-month crime spree has narrowly avoided jail.

Cody Cortes, 21, was told he was "very lucky" to escape jail at Brisbane District Court on Thursday after pleading guilty to more than 30 charges of arson, theft, and assault.

During a crime wave across the South Burnett region, Cortes drove a stolen car on the wrong side of the Burnett Highway, swerving into a sign post and rolling it multiple times before fleeing and attempting to steal another vehicle.



When Queensland Police caught up with him on July 20, Cortes headbutted a man who tried to help them arrest him and told officers later he "should have got him a few more".


Cody Cortes faced Brisbane District Court on Thursday.
Cody Cortes faced Brisbane District Court on Thursday.


He was taken to hospital but escaped.

Nine days later while on the run from authorities, Cortes stole a $50,000 car, from a man who had gone into a Chinchilla cafe for a coffee, and later burnt it in a forest.

Over the three months, Cortes also rammed a power station gate causing almost $3000 damage, stole property and four surveillance cameras from a waste facility at Warwick.

Cortes's barrister Robert Glenday "in the depths of a drug addiction at the time" and using 1g of ice a day.

Mr Glenday said Cortes, who had been on parole at the time of his offending, had spent more than eight months in jail which had been an "eye opener" for him.

"If he was sent back to jail today it would be detrimental to him and of no benefit at all to the community," Mr Glenday said.

Judge Orazio Rinaudo said drugs were "no excuse" for his "out of control" behaviour.

"You could have injured other persons or yourself. Amazing how you didn't get injured as a result of rolling the vehicle," he said.

"I'll make it clear to you that you're very lucky today. You've been given an opportunity and if you don't take it you will be back in custody."

Cortes was sentenced to five years' jail with immediate parole.

He was disqualified from driving for two years.

Before he left court, Cortes told Judge Rinaudo: "I'm going to sort my life out."

Originally published as 'Out of control' carjacker trashes $50,000 car