Teen jailed for burnout that injured boy

Robyn Wuth |

Scott and Caitlin Martin described the sentencing process as “tense and emotional”.
Scott and Caitlin Martin described the sentencing process as “tense and emotional”.

A “callous” teenage hoon who almost killed a five-year-old boy when performing a dangerous burnout and a tyre flew off in a busy Queensland CBD has been jailed.

Blake Jennings-Davey, 19, was disqualified, driving an unregistered, defective car that he had illegally modified when his journey home from work took him into the heart of downtown Caboolture on November 22, 2020. 

Witnesses had already reported his dangerous driving as the teen performed a series of burnouts before he stopped at a red light. 

Scott Martin was with sons William, five and Benjamin, 3, walking along the footpath when Jennings-Davey started revving the engine of his Ford utility.

The car’s bald tyres squealed as Jennings-Davey unleashed the  burnout that left five-metre skid marks across the road’s bitumen surface.

The utility fishtailed wildly coming within millimetres of hitting other vehicles. 

A driver directly behind Jennings-Davey’s car would later tell police left rear tyre started to wobble before suddenly shooting off the car and heading directly toward the Martin family.

It hit William and the impact slammed the five-year-old into the footpath. The critically injured boy stopped breathing. 

He was turning blue when Scott Martin’s first-aid training kicked in and he started CPR. 

“Twice I had to revive my son,” the emotional father told the Brisbane District Court on Wednesday.

“Twice I watched the light in his little eyes dim. That’s twice I could have lost my son forever.”

After months in ICU and rehabilitation, the accident has left permanent scars on William and his family.

William will live with a permanent acquired brain injury and Mr Martin has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

As Mr Martin fought to save his son’s life, an indifferent Jennings-Davey seemed more interested in saving his tyre. 

“The defendant did nothing to assist during all of this,” Mr Martin said. 

“He appeared more concerned in stepping over my son to fetch his precious tyre.”

The teen told a nearby security guard all he wanted was to escape saying: “I would go if I had a jack, I just want to go.”

Defence barrister Tom Polley said Jennings-Davey had a troubled childhood and had been “acting out”. 

“He is remorseful for his actions,” Mr Polley said. 

“He hates the way he acted that day – both before and after. 

“He no longer wants to be that person and realises he owes society a great debt and vows to be the best person he can be from this point onward.”

Judge Michael Burnett labelled Jennings-Davey’s behaviour as “callously indifferent” to the chaos and pain he had caused. 

“Your principal concern appears to have been to recover your tyre and make good your departure,” Judge Burnett said. 

He sentenced the teen to three-and-a-half years in prison, with recommended parole in February 2023. 

Outside court, Mr Martin and wife Caitlin described the sentencing process as “tense and emotional” but they were relieved to have closure. 

William still has no memory of the accident.

“We are relieved and we can move on to the next chapter of William’s rehabilitation,” Mrs Martin said. 

“He’s a typical boy – boisterous and outgoing, we are just so glad that he’s got that spark back. We just appreciate every moment we have with him.”

Despite almost losing their son, the parents are satisfied by the sentence. 

“I don’t think I can ever forgive how he was after the accident,” Mr Martin said. 

“I do hope that he learns from his mistakes but I do hope that this is the final wake-up call he needs.”