Five accused of Jeep crime spree appear in Gladstone court
IT TOOK two magistrates to clear a packed court list at Gladstone Magistrate Court today, with more than a dozen defendants newly in custody and the watchhouse filled to capacity.
Among the defendants were five people charged over an alleged crime spree, which police said began with two of the offenders on the Gold Coast on June 21, and ended in Gladstone yesterday afternoon.
Police said at least 10 cars were stolen over that period, along with various burglaries and other offences, and the group was responsible for at least 40 police incidents.
Police said the alleged spree only ended after they deployed tyre-deflation devices, or "stingers", to stop a stolen Jeep Grand Cherokee near the intersection of Glenlyon Rd and Dalrymple Dr.
Corey Ian Lawrence Jackson and Tamika Louise Doyle each appeared in court today charged with more than 20 offences including stealing, dangerous operation of a vehicle, failing to stop for police, fraud and robbery.
Luke Joseph Bligh and Gregory James Coulson also appeared facing four charges, including dangerous operation of a vehicle, failing to stop, stealing and unlawful use of a motor vehicle.
None of those four defendants applied for bail.
One defendant applies for bail
A fifth defendant, 29-year-old Leon Frederick Himstedt, was charged with the same four offences as Mr Bligh and Mr Coulson.
He applied for bail late this afternoon.
Police prosecutor Joel Sleep told magistrate Neil Lavaring Mr Himstedt was in the stolen Jeep when it was stopped by police on Monday afternoon.
He told the court there was an ongoing investigation into the alleged crime spree and it was very likely further charges would be laid as a result.
But defence lawyer Rio Ramos said it was important Mr Lavaring disregard any charges that were not before the court when it came to hearing her client's bail application.
Mr Sleep objected, saying the court had the power to take into account the likelihood of further charges being laid if it came from a credible source.
But Mr Lavaring accepted Ms Ramos's argument - if only because he noted there was already enough information before him to justify denying bail.
Ms Ramos pressed on, saying Mr Himstedt was not the driver of the vehicle during the incident and he "didn't know the intentions of the driver".
She asked Mr Lavaring to allow her client to live in Chinchilla as the court process took place, noting most of his criminal history was unrelated to the current alleged offences.
But Mr Lavaring, noting Mr Himstedt was on probation at the time of the alleged offences, said her client was an unacceptable risk of committing further offences and refused the bail application.
Mr Jackson and Mr Coulson will next appear in court on July 24, while Mr Himstedt will appear on July 31.