Ac­cused deemed bail risk

Mul­ti­ple charges in crime spree case

NewsMail - - NEWS - Ross Irby

AC­CUSED of car thefts and steal­ing of­fences in a crime spree between Bund­aberg and Her­vey Bay, Mark Alan Mur­doch failed to make bail when a mag­is­trate deemed him to be a risk.

In Bund­aberg Mag­is­trates Court, po­lice strongly op­posed bail, say­ing Mur­doch (pic­tured) had changed his ap­pear­ance, used stolen num­ber plates on the ve­hi­cles he is al­leged to have stolen, and was found with a clown mask.

Pros­e­cu­tor Sergeant Dean Burgess said Mur­doch had re­fused to hand him­self in and po­lice were in­ves­ti­gat­ing fur­ther of­fences on top of the 36 he is now charged with.

“On Oc­to­ber 1 he de­camped on foot from po­lice and was ac­tively avoid­ing po­lice by chang­ing his ap­pear­ance, and chang­ing regis­tra­tion plates,” Sgt Burgess said.

Po­lice feared his propen­sity for vi­o­lent con­duct was es­ca­lat­ing, and al­leged he had a replica firearm.

Mur­doch, 32, faces charges in­clud­ing nine steal­ing of­fences between Septem­ber 22 and Septem­ber 29 that in­volve fuel, tobacco, de­odor­ant and car regis­tra­tion plates.

He is charged with fail­ing to stop for po­lice on the Gin Gin Road at Ma­roon­dan on Septem­ber 28; four counts of un­law­ful use of a mo­tor ve­hi­cle; dan­ger­ous op­er­a­tion of a mo­tor ve­hi­cle; two counts of un­law­ful pos­ses­sion of weapons; hav­ing unau­tho­rised ex­plo­sives; pos­ses­sion of a knife; three counts of unau­tho­rised deal­ing with shop goods; pos­ses­sion of dan­ger­ous drugs; and two counts of fail­ing to ap­pear in court.

Mur­doch, 32, ap­peared from jail via video-link be­fore Mag­is­trate Belinda Mer­rin to rep­re­sent him­self in his bail ap­pli­ca­tion.

“Since I’ve been in cus­tody I’m off the meth. I’ve not al­ways been a drugged-out crim­i­nal,” Mur­doch said.

“I’ve worked since I was 14 and I’ve owned a house.

“Since I’ve been off the drugs (in jail) it’s opened my eyes, cleared my head a bit. No way I want to go back. And I’m happy to do urine anal­y­sis to make sure I’m not off the track.

“I want to do some­thing out there to help re­pay the busi­nesses I ripped off. To show a bit of re­demp­tion and re­morse.”

And if given bail Mur­doch said he would live with fam­ily in Her­vey Bay.

In op­pos­ing bail, Sgt Burgess out­lined the var­i­ous of­fences Mur­doch al­legedly com­mit­ted.

Po­lice ac­cuse him of steal­ing, with a co-of­fender, by run­ning from a Food­works store with $81 worth of items.

He is also ac­cused of steal­ing a Ford ute from a car dealer on Septem­ber 26 where, af­ter the sales­man popped the bon­net so he could look at the engine, he al­legedly drove off.

He is also charged with tak­ing fuel in drive-offs from ser­vice sta­tions in­clud­ing Childers, Tor­ban­lea, Isis River and Avon­dale.

He faces charges al­leg­ing he took a Nis­san Navara ute from Bar­gara Rd – in which po­lice found a clown mask af­ter­wards, and that he stole regis­tra­tion plates off other ve­hi­cles.

Sgt Burgess said CCTV im­ages of Mur­doch wear­ing high-vis work gear, and his mo­bile phone, also placed him in the vicin­ity of some of­fences.

Ms Mer­rin said the al­le­ga­tions were of ef­fec­tively be­ing on a crime spree, and Mur­doch also had a rel­e­vant crim­i­nal his­tory in­volv­ing coun­ter­feit money and drugs.

She said if Mur­doch was con­victed he would likely re­ceive a sig­nif­i­cant jail sen­tence.

She re­fused bail. Mur­doch’s mat­ters were ad­journed to late Novem­ber.

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