A violent carjacker who stole two cars at gunpoint amid a terrifying 75 minutes of drug-fuelled speeding across Melbourne must spend at least a decade in prison.
Patrick McMillan pointed an imitation gun in the face of an off-duty policeman and within the next two hours dragged a woman from her car at Ivanhoe train station and then forced three people out of a car outside Chadstone shopping centre.
In between those confrontations, he sped through Melbourne’s northern and south-eastern suburbs with no regard for anyone else, regularly driving on the wrong side of the road, in emergency lanes, against red lights and through pedestrian crossings.
County Court judge Gregory Lyon estimated thousands of road users would have witnessed McMillan’s erratic driving on November 24, 2017, and many of them had to take evasive action to get out of his path.
At one point McMillan hit 201km/h along the Eastern Freeway and it was remarkable, the judge said, no one was hurt.
“Your offending on this spree must be met by stern punishment,” Judge Lyon told McMillan on Monday in jailing him for 14 years and 11 months.
The 34-year-old must serve 10 years and four months before he is eligible for parole.
McMillan was three weeks without sleep after a binge of ice, cocaine, GHB and alcohol when in the early hours of November 22, 2017 he and Michael Heyfron were in a stolen Holden Commodore and saw a carload of men Heyfron knew.
One of the pair fired a gunshot to force the other car to pull over in Lalor, and when it did, the two men assaulted four young men.
Heyfron slashed one man to the face with a knife and repeatedly stabbed another in the left arm, while McMillan used the butt of a shotgun to bash them, and rob them of mobile phones and wallets.
Heyfron was arrested with a wad of stolen bank cards at a Mulgrave shopping centre two days later, shortly before McMillan careened across the city.
In Glenroy, he noticed another driver following his car and pulled over and confronted the man — an off-duty police officer — by pointing an imitation pistol at him from one metre and screaming: “Why the fuck are you following me?”
The officer drove off and McMillan followed for five minutes to further intimidate him.
Soon after, at Ivanhoe station, McMillan abandoned the Commodore pointed the gun at the driver of a parked Jaguar.
Judge Lyon said the woman driver showed remarkable bravery and tenacity in trying to fight
off the carjacker.
The woman’s husband and two other men also tried to stop McMillan but had to back away when he pointed the pistol at them.
They were unaware the gun was an imitation.
As the police helicopter followed from above, McMillan drove the Jaguar to a car wash and jumped into a Mercedes-Benz, and drove to Chadstone, where he pointed the gun at three people in a Nissan Skyline in the car park, and took their car.
Heavily-armed police arrested McMillan as he sat in the car in the driveway of his Glenroy home that night.
Judge Lyon said McMillan’s crimes had to be denounced in the strongest terms.
“In all, your actions were vicious, cowardly and terrifying,” he said of the attacks on the young men in the car. “Your actions are likely to stay with each of of these young men for the rest of their lives.”
Confronting the off-duty policeman was an “appalling act of assault and intimidation”, while the carjackings were “disgraceful acts of violence”.
McMillan, a one-time affiliate of the Mongols motorcycle club, pleaded guilty to four counts of armed robbery, two of aggravated carjacking, reckless conduct endangering serious injury, common assault and other charges.
He has a long history of prior convictions for drug, violence, driving and weapons charges, and Judge Lyon found his prospects for rehabilitation were poor.
McMillan, the court heard, was raised by his mother, who was often drunk, drug-affected and violent, while his father was a bikie and often absent.
McMillan spent large parts of his childhood in foster care, used drugs from 12 and the only stint of his adult life that was relatively stable was the five years he worked as a roof tiler.
He wrote a letter of apology to the court expressing he was ‘‘truly remorseful’’ and said he wanted to devote the rest of his life to caring for his son and daughter.
Judge Lyon acknowledged the letter but said courts often received last-minute apologies from prisoners, and said the only way to prove remorse and insight was by staying drug free and out of trouble once released.
Heyfron, 21, was last year jailed for four years but that was increased to six years on an appeal by prosecutors.
He must serve three years before he is eligible for parole.
Source: The Age