Trafficker jailed for drug-driving ‘carnage’ on highway

Rex Martinich |

A Queensland man whose meth-impaired driving left a young woman with severe injuries has been jailed for up to nine years for traffic, drugs and weapons offences.

Damon Neville Vesey-Brown, 48, of Noosa, faced Brisbane Supreme Court via videolink on Thursday on a range of charges including dangerous operation of a vehicle causing grievous bodily harm whilst adversely affected by an intoxicating substance.

Vesey-Brown pleaded guilty to all counts, including trafficking and producing meth, supplying a Taser and shotgun and failing to inform police of his address and contact with children as a reportable sex offender.

Crown prosecutor Christopher Cook said Vesey-Brown had caused “carnage” on the Bruce Highway at Glenwood about 100km north of the Sunshine Coast on December 29, 2020 while driving with a “substantial amount of meth in his system”.

Witnesses saw Vesey-Brown speeding, driving erratically and swerving between lanes before hitting another vehicle head-on being driven by a 28-year-old woman, causing compound fractures to her arm, a fractured humerus and hip bone and a partially collapsed lung.

“She was airlifted to Brisbane for surgery and was in hospital for a week,” Mr Cook said.

“Without treatment she would have lost function in both arms. She obviously suffered greatly as a result of this offending.”

During a police investigation into Vesey-Brown’s failure to report as sex offender, officers found evidence that led to the drug charges.

Vesey-Brown also offered to supply weapons to an undercover police operative.

Mr Cook said Vesey-Brown sold drugs in “high-level street quantities”, supplying drugs to 37 customers and charging up to $6000 per ounce of meth.

“He was able to afford a reasonably nice apartment at $400 per night for a period of three weeks,” Mr Cook said.

“It was a successful business for a while. He was motivated by profit.”

Vesey-Brown’s barrister said he client had been abused while at boarding school, which resulted in his education being cut short at year 10.

“He could not come to terms with it,” the barrister said.

“The tragic death of (a close family member), described as his best friend, coincided with the downward spiral back into the use of drugs and supplying to pay his debts. 

“It’s no excuse but it does put it into context.”

Justice Peter Davis said Vesey-Brown’s life “seems to be lurching from disaster to disaster” and had seriously injured another person.

“You have clearly been affected by childhood trauma, you seem to react by trauma in your life with drugs and offending,” Justice Davis said.

He said the young woman’s injuries from the collision had “interfered very significantly with her life”, preventing her normal physical activities and causing weight gain and self-esteem issues.

Justice Davis said Vesey-Brown had also suffered ongoing injuries as a result of the crash and was due for another surgery.

Vesey-Brown was given a parole eligibility date of February 9, 2025 with 400 days declared as time served and he was disqualified from holding a licence for three years.