The Chronicle

Crim servo standoff


A TENSE standoff between a cop and a wanted crim at a Stanthorpe Caltex service station had the police officer pointing a capsicum spray gun at the man who pointed a petrol bowser nozzle at the cop.

The standoff on June 10 ended when the cop sprayed William Richard Brown in the face with capsicum spray, prompting him to drop the nozzle and get into the car where the police officer again approached and sprayed him a second time, Toowoomba Magistrate­s Court heard.

Brown had sped away on the New England Highway only to drive straight into a parked car, presumably as a result of the capsicum spray affecting his eyesight and police had found no evidence his car breaking before impact, police prosecutor Chris Willson told the court.

Brown, 43, had also blown a breath/alcohol reading of 0.114 when arrested, Senior

Constable Willson said.

He had been wanted on warrants and was recognised by the police officer when he drove into the service station to refuel, the court heard.

Brown had spent the ensuing 114 days in custody before appearing via video link from Arthur Gorrie Correction­al Centre to plead guilty to a total 24 offences.

His other offences included a number of fuel station driveoffs, fraud and disqualifi­ed driving matters.

His solicitor Ryan McCullough, of MacDonald Law, said his client had written a letter of apology to the policeman concerned which he placed before the court.

Brown had suffered post traumatic stress disorder as a result of childhood trauma and suffered anxiety and depression which had led to his life spiralling out of control and into a life offending, he said.

His client had suffered fractured ribs and sternum in the crash and due to overcrowdi­ng in the prison he had to sleep on the floor for a time which had been painful due to his injuries, Mr McCullough submitted.

The prison had also been subject to a series of Covid lockdowns, he said.

Magistrate Graham Lee declared 114 days pre-sentence custody as time served and sentenced Brown to 16 months in jail but ordered he be released on parole as of November 10 this year.

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