TOUGH MOTHER

HEAV­ILY PREG­NANT MUM SAVES 4- YEAR- OLD SON FROM AB­DUC­TION

Townsville Bulletin - - FRONT PAGE - CHRISTIE AN­DER­SON

A HEAV­ILY preg­nant mother saved her young son from ab­duc­tion dur­ing a ter­ri­fy­ing home in­va­sion.

The woman, 37 weeks preg­nant, was alone with her three young chil­dren when a 33- year- old man al­legedly en­tered her Ing­ham home on Wed­nes­day.

The woman and her chil­dren fled the house but the man fol­lowed them out­side and al­legedly grabbed the woman’s four- year- old son.

The mother strug­gled with the man and he let the boy go af­ter another woman in­ter­vened.

The man was de­nied bail in Townsville Mag­is­trates Court yesterday af­ter he was deemed to be an un­ac­cept­able risk to the com­mu­nity and him­self.

Mag­is­trate Steven Mosch said the man had “ter­rorised” the mother and her chil­dren.

“She has fled from the de­fen­dant who re­leased her son but not af­ter ter­ri­fy­ing both of them and, I sus­pect, all mem­bers of her fam­ily,” he said.

“Over a num­ber of days, he has dis­played bizarre and ir­ra­tional be­hav­iour.”

Af­ter flee­ing the home, the man went to Ing­ham po­lice sta­tion where he al­legedly jumped the counter.

The ter­ri­fied re­cep­tion­ist ran through the po­lice sta­tion scream­ing as po­lice drew Tasers and firearms be­fore the man was taken into cus­tody.

Po­lice pros­e­cu­tor Se­nior Con­sta­ble Tim Mad­sen said the man didn’t know his vic­tims.

“There is no af­fil­i­a­tion be­tween him and the vic­tims,’’ he said.

“The fe­male tried to es­cape and was fol­lowed out­side by the de­fen­dant.”

The man looked up at the ceil­ing and mut­tered to the mag­is­trate dur­ing the court ap­pear­ance.

The man, whom the Bul­letin has cho­sen to not name, was ex­pected to be ad­mit­ted to the Se­cure Men­tal Health Unit.

Wed­nes­day’s in­ci­dent fol­lowed a string of strange be­hav­iour by the man.

On Tues­day last week, po­lice found the man wan­der­ing 5km south of Ing­ham where he told them he was go­ing to find out who killed his cousin. The next day, Ing­ham po­lice found him with a piece of tim­ber and he told them he was look­ing for a man un­der a bridge. He also al­legedly ate bread and drank wine at Ing­ham’s Catholic Church be­fore drink­ing holy wa­ter and spit­ting at the priest.

Po­lice also found him at Ing­ham’s Unit­ing Church where he had placed pos­sum fur and other strange items in front of stat­ues be­fore telling po­lice he was be­ing chased by devils. The man faces seven charges in­clud­ing at­tempted child steal­ing, se­ri­ous as­sault po­lice and tres­pass.

The mat­ter is sched­uled to be heard in Townsville Mag­is­trates Court on Au­gust 21.

Pic­ture: FIONA HARD­ING

FAREWELL: ABC Shop cus­tomer Ann Crockett, brows­ing in the Castle­town store yesterday, was sad to hear the out­lets will close.

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