31 October 2021

Victim forced into car boot was bashed with a tyre iron before being abandoned near national park

| Albert McKnight

Jake Blackburn (left) beat his victim with a tyre iron while he was in the boot of a car (right). Photos: Screenshots.

Forced into the boot of a car, a man was tasered and struck with a tyre iron while being driven around Canberra before he was abandoned near a national park. He was found in only his shorts the next morning.

On Friday (29 October), the ACT Supreme Court heard the night of bloody terror 22-year-old Jake Blackburn and his co-offender QH, who cannot be named, unleashed on their victim was over a $75 drug debt.

Court documents say that over the course of 6 April 2021, the co-offenders messaged the victim several times to tell him he was a day late in paying back his debt.

About 9:40 pm that night, the victim was walking down a street in Conder when the co-offenders saw him and he ran into Lanyon Marketplace, asking people for help.

He tried to hide in the stock room of Woolworths, but staff told him he couldn’t stay there so he went back into the public area of the supermarket where he was approached by the offenders who told him they just wanted to talk and told him to go with them.

They drove off in a hatchback and Blackburn told their victim they were going to drive “out bush”. When they pulled over, Blackburn made the man get into their car’s boot and when he was doing so shocked the man twice with a homemade taser.

They drove around with the man in the boot, stopping for Blackburn to punch him. At one point they also stopped for Blackburn to hit him in the head several times with a tyre iron.

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“I’ll kill you, you f-king gronk,” he told his victim.

“That’s a f-king fractured skull. That’s what that f-king feels like you f-king maggot,” he said after delivering several blows with the tyre iron.

“Is that f-king nice in my boot?”

The victim was bleeding heavily and thought he was going to die because of the way the offenders were talking, so started spreading his blood around the boot in case he was never found.

After being confined for a couple of hours, they eventually pulled over near Namadgi National Park, kicked him out of the car and Blackburn hit him with the tyre iron several more times before leaving him there without a phone or his shoes.

He was found on Tennant Road, Apollo at about 7:00 am the next morning, covered in blood and only wearing a pair of shorts. He was discharged from hospital after 32 hours. He needed staples for a 5 cm laceration on his head.

Justice Michael Elkaim said both offenders were on conditional liberty during the event.

He said Blackburn had an upbringing “marred by abuse” and had a substance abuse disorder.

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QH also had an unstable upbringing, he said, saying his father had introduced him to methylamphetamine when he was only 11 years old.

Blackburn and QH both pleaded guilty to charges of forcible confinement, while the former also pleaded guilty to a charge of dishonestly driving a stolen motor vehicle.

Blackburn was sentenced to two years and seven months’ jail, with a new non-parole period that will end in February 2024 after which he is eligible to be released from custody.

QH, who had his name anonymised as he was a minor when originally sentenced for other matters, was given 12 months’ jail with a six-month non-parole period meaning he can be released in October 2023.

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