Child killer in cuffs after gun uncovered in crash
A FATHER convicted of killing his four-year-old stepson appeared before court handcuffed, his head sunk in his hands, after he was allegedly found with a firearm at the scene of a crash yesterday.
Matthew Ian Anthony Scown was serving the remainder of his prison sentence in the Sunshine Coast community for the 2009 manslaughter of Tyrell Cobb on the Gold Coast.
Duty lawyer Michael Robinson applied for Mr Scown's bail in the Maroochydore Magistrates Court this morning on 29 offences allegedly committed while on a suspended sentence for the child's death.
Mr Scown faces a mandatory minimum of one year behind bars if found guilty of his most serious charge, the unlawful possession of a category H weapon.
Mr Robinson told the court Mr Scown had borrowed a car yesterday with the intention of visiting his two sons in Childers when he is believed to have fallen asleep at the wheel.
Mr Robinson said Mr Scown was then involved in a "violent crash" at Roy's Rd, Beerwah about 12.15pm.
It was at this point, Mr Robinson told the court, that Mr Scown became aware of the firearm as it "flung out" from under a front seat.
Mr Robinson told the court as members of the public started to gather, Mr Scown put the firearm in a backpack and then in the tray of the vehicle for safety reasons.
He made police aware of it when they arrived about five minutes later.
"He thought it was okay because it wasn't his," Mr Robinson said.
Mr Robinson told the court the "unlawful" aspect of the charge would be contested given these circumstances.
Mr Scown is also charged with the unlawful use of a motor vehicle, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle while adversely affected by an intoxicating substance, driving an unregistered and uninsured vehicle, and driving on a SPER suspended licence.
Mr Robinson said Mr Scown borrowed the car in "good faith" and would not have if he knew about the weapon.
Mr Scown also faces stealing, receiving tainted property and 20 fraud-related charges.
Mr Robinson told the court Mr Scown had always been a worker, but now suffered post traumatic stress disorder due to the impact of his "son's" death and the subsequent media and social media commentary.
Mr Robinson said Mr Scown's manslaughter offence arose out of his attempts to give the young child CPR.
Mr Scown pleaded guilty to manslaughter in 2017, and was sentenced to four years' jail with immediate release for the two years and eight months already served.
At the time of sentencing, the Supreme Court in Brisbane heard Tyrell died of an abdominal injury, and his body had a total of 53 bruises and 17 abrasions.
Tyrell was found unconscious inside an apartment at Biggera Waters on the Gold Coast, and later died in hospital.
Justice Martin Burns told the court it is not suggested Scown knew about or inflicted the fatal blow on the little boy.
He was liable for the boy's death because he failed to seek medical treatment when he first realised the boy was hurt.
Mr Robinson today said the charges before the Maroochydore Magistrates Court were evidence of Mr Scown's recent and "unfortunate descent back into drug usage".
Police prosecutor Leonie Scott formally objected to bail, but did not have to be heard before Magistrate Rod Madsen refused it.
"He's got terrible history before court," Mr Madsen said.
Mr Madsen told the court Mr Scown had previously breached bail and probation, and was on a suspended sentence at the time of the most recent alleged crimes.
He told the court he could not be satisfied Mr Scown would comply with bail conditions and that his alleged offences certainly put him at risk of spending time in actual custody if convicted.
Mr Scown is due to appear via videolink on his next court date, July 3.