Man found wandering in CBD with loaded shotgun
A SUNSHINE Coast man who had been on the run for eight months was finally arrested after being found wandering in the Brisbane CBD with a loaded shotgun in his backpack.
John Lee Kiely, 32, pleaded guilty in the Brisbane Supreme Court to 35 charges stemming from a crime spree across south-east Queensland between September, 2011 and October, 2012.
At the time of his offending he was on parole after serving a minimal amount of time of a eight year jail sentence for drug trafficking.
He further breached those parole conditions on a further two occasions.
Crown Prosecutor Clare Hurley told the court Kiely went on a 14-month crime spree which involved two high-speed police pursuits through the Sunshine Coast hinterland.
She told the court on one occasion a school bus was run off the road to avoid a head-on collision with the car Kiely was driving.
"He has been in and out of jail for the past two years due to his parole violations," she said.
"Each time he was released he committed a further offence and then remained on the run for eight months."
Ms Hurley told the court his crimes during the crime spree included fraud, a host of stealing and property offences as well as weapons, drugs and motor vehicle charges.
Defence barrister John Jones told the court he had the full support of his mother, stepfather and aunty who were in the court to offer their support.
"His previous significant drug use resulted in his criminal activity," he said.
"It was a double-edge sword.
"His drug use was a default strategy he used to cope with anxiety and stress.
"Ultimately drugs have ruined his life up until this point."
Judge Fleur Kingham took into account Kiely had been drug free for sometime and had taken significant steps toward rehabilitating himself.
She sentenced him to two years for each of the police pursuits and six months for each of the other offences and ordered them to be served concurrently.
Kiely will be eligible to apply for parole on November 13.