Anthony John Winkelmann, 56, of West Mackay fronted Mackay Magistrates Court over videolink from prison for sentencing.
Anthony John Winkelmann, 56, of West Mackay fronted Mackay Magistrates Court over videolink from prison for sentencing. Facebook

Elderly woman fights off violent car-jacker in Mackay

AN AILING drug addict made the bizarre decision to violently car-jack an elderly woman because he was hot and bothered during a long walk.

But Anthony John Winkelmann's plan was foiled when the brave driver fought back and warded off the brazen car theft.

Winkelmann fronted the District Court in Mackay on Friday over video from prison.

The 56-year-old pleaded guilty to attempted robbery with violence, stealing and contravening a police direction to provide his identification.

Winkelmann has a lengthy criminal history in Queensland and New South Wales, including property crime and drug offences, Crown prosecutor Alex Baker told the court.

He's previously targeted elderly citizens in robberies and bag snatches to fuel addiction to stimulant drugs like methamphetamines (ice).

Ms Baker said Winkelmann's latest offending on April 30 last year at Mackay marked a continuation of similar offending.

"The defendant targeted an older lady in the carpark of a shopping centre. It was essentially an attempted car-jacking," she said.

"The defendant got in the passenger side, reached over to take the keys and tried to start the car.

The complainant got out, she tried to reach back in and get her keys and was repeatedly struck in the arm each time she attempted to do so. The keys ultimately fell on the ground beside the driver's side door. The complainant managed to grab them and close the door."

Winkelmann made a speedy exit, after he "was essentially overcome", and dashed away from witnesses who tried to intervene.

Though, Winkelmann was quickly identified and interviewed by police, during which he "denied perpetrating any violence".

In an impact statement, the bruised and battered victim told of ongoing "nightmares and panic attacks".

"She's reluctant to leave her home. She no longer feels safe and she's reliant on her sons to accompany her out," Ms Baker said.

The stealing offence related to a $30 petrol drive-off.

Winkelmann appeared after spending about nine months in jail, and Ms Baker said he entered an early plea and had cooperated with police to some extent.

The career crook told his barrister, Scott McLennan, that the car-jacking was "the stupidest thing I've ever done" and that he was "ashamed".

"He'd stopped using drugs by this stage," Mr McLennan said.

"He hadn't had his medication for his heart condition for about four days because he didn't have the money (from Centrelink), and he didn't have any painkillers to treat his arthritic knees for the same reason.

"His lift home hadn't arrived at the pre-arranged time ... his purpose in the offence was to simply take the car and drive himself home."

Winkelmann told his lawyer he had been "hot" and "frazzled".

Mr McLennan raised his client's struggles in prison during his nine month stay due to health issues, including heart problems linked to long-term drug addiction.

Winkelmann could live a normal life, as demonstrated between 1986-1999, when he worked as a truckie and fisherman, the barrister added.

Judge Julie Dick described the attempted robbery as "bizarre".

She noted Winkelmann could expect a self-imposed "death sentence" should he return to drug use.

Winkelmann was sentenced to an overarching jail term of two-and-a-half years, but he will be freed on parole on March 1, considering time served and an early guilty plea.