Real estate high-flyer Brett Henson moans his life ruined after he stole a taxi in a drunken stupor

A former high-flying real estate executive is free to get behind the wheel again after he stole a taxi and drunkenly drove it through the city in a move that became the ‘talk of the town’.

Brett Henson had been trying to get into the silver cab after a night of drinking at 9pm on November 4, 2022 when the door handle broke and he fell backwards.

The 44-year-old claimed in court the taxi driver, Sayeed Ali Khan, tried to ‘extort’ money from him for the vehicle handle before he was set upon by a group of five men.

He told the court that the men, who were all ‘much bigger’ than him, told Mr Henson they were the ‘Muslim brotherhood’. Henson said he saw the taxi theft as his ‘only option’.

Former Mirvac real estate executive Brett Henson (pictured)  is free to get behind the wheel again after he stole a taxi and drunkenly drove it in a move that became the ‘talk of the town’ 

However, magistrate Gregory Moore rejected his claims and found him guilty of taking and driving a vehicle without the owner’s consent and driving under the influence of alcohol.

On Monday, he told Sydney Downing Centre Local Court that Henson’s actions ‘cannot be excused’ by his belief he was being pursued.

The magistrate noted Henson had been ‘unsteady on his feet’ in the lead-up to the offending, which he said was ‘far from trivial’.

‘The taking of the taxi was opportunistic and no doubt alcohol consumption played a role,’ he said.

‘There needs to be a message sent to the offender and others that this behaviour is unacceptable.’

The court was told Henson previously struggled with alcohol addiction that had been exacerbated by the stress of his job.

He was a senior capital transactions manager for property developing giant Mirvac at the time of the alleged offence, but his lawyer Paul McGirr said he has not worked in 20 months.

Brett Henson had been trying to get into the silver cab after a night of drinking at 9pm on November 4, 2022 when the door handle broke and he fell backwards.

Brett Henson had been trying to get into the silver cab after a night of drinking at 9pm on November 4, 2022 when the door handle broke and he fell backwards. 

He said his client had been ‘well respected’ in the property industry before he committed the offences, but ‘all of sudden, he can’t get a job’.

‘The difficulty he’s found when going for jobs is when you Google his name … (the taxi theft and drink-driving) come up,’ Mr McGirr said.

‘It’s the talk of the town.’

Mr McGirr said his client had suffered extra-curial punishment due to the media coverage of his drunken offences, but he was trying to get back into the property industry.

‘He’s really been through the wringer in this … as has his family,’ he said.

‘This is so isolated and so unique for someone who’s never been on the radar before.’

Mr Moore agreed the publicity and Henson’s extended driving suspension amounted to a penalty and asserted he was a person of prior good character who had good prospects of rehabilitation.

He convicted Henson of both offences and fined him $3500.

Brett Henson (pictured left) was convicted of of both offences and fined $3500. He was also banned from driving for 15 months from his arrest in November 2022, meaning he will be able to drive again immediately

Brett Henson (pictured left) was convicted of of both offences and fined $3500. He was also banned from driving for 15 months from his arrest in November 2022, meaning he will be able to drive again immediately

The former Mirvac executive was also disqualified from driving for 15 months from the date of his arrest in November 2022, which means he will be able to drive again immediately.

Outside court, Mr McGirr reiterated that Henson had ‘acted under duress because he’d been attacked’.

‘In hindsight, he probably should have taken a better option to either run or try to get his mobile phone out and ring the police,’ he said.

‘But he wants to put this behind him now and get back to work.’

Henson has decided not to appeal the convictions or the fines handed down on Monday.

‘He just wants to move on with his life and hopefully not be on the news or in the paper again,’ Mr McGirr explained.

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