BEHIND CELLS: A convicted murderer was caught after 12 days on the run from Gympie police after burning his electronic device attached to his ankle earlier this year.
BEHIND CELLS: A convicted murderer was caught after 12 days on the run from Gympie police after burning his electronic device attached to his ankle earlier this year. Brett Wortman

Convicted killer was hiding out on Gympie's Southside

A CONVICTED murderer was on the run from Gympie police for 12 days after burning off his ankle electronic monitoring device three days after being released on parole.

The man who cannot be named for legal reasons pleaded guilty via videolink in Gympie Magistrates Court yesterday to wilfully damaging an electronic device on May 11.

The man's history began as a child when he was sentenced in the Toowoomba Supreme Court to 10 years in detention for the 2004 crimes of entering with intent while armed and in company, murder and stealing.

He was sentenced to detention on March 17, 2006.

Police prosecutor Lisa Manns told the court the man's monitoring device was showing "stationary” at the intersection of Main and Leavinia St at 11.40am on May 11.

Police found the device in the garden at 15a Main St in Gympie.

"The band of the device had been burnt and then cut through,” Sgt Manns said.

Police attended 10 Emerald Drive on the Southside just after 9pm on May 23, where they arrested the defendant.

"Police observed the defendant with a large burn on the outside of his left leg which appeared to be consistent with using a heat source to burn through the electronic monitoring device,” Sgt Manns said.

The man was taken to Gympie Hospital for treatment soon after his arrest, but due to a spreading infection, was transported to the Royal Brisbane Hospital.

The man told the court the infection had spread into his bone and he was now unable to walk.

"They want to cut my leg off and I don't want to lose my leg. I feel bad for what I've done and now I am going to lose my leg.

"I can't walk,” he said.

"Oh dear. You're paying the price for your stupidity,” Magistrate Chris Callaghan said.

The man was sent to jail for six months at Maryborough Magistrates Court after committing another offence soon after his release from detention in 2016.

He has served 13 years, seven months and 29 days in jail which commenced on February 1, 2007.

"You have suffered because of the wilful damage you did to the device,” Mr Callaghan said.

"You burnt it off and now have an infected leg and you may even lose your leg.

"That will be a pretty big deterrent to you against doing it in the future.”

The man will be eligible for parole on August 31, this year.

Gympie Times


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