Drug­gie steals car, firearms spark­ing man­hunt by po­lice Chase leads to jail

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - SAM BIDEY

A DRUG ad­dict who stole guns and led po­lice on a wild car chase through North Queens­land cane fields has been jailed.

Pa­trick John Rans­ley pleaded guilty to 18 charges in­clud­ing break­ing and en­ter­ing, steal­ing firearms, dan­ger­ous op­er­a­tion of a mo­tor ve­hi­cle and five counts of sup­ply­ing dan­ger­ous drugs.

In Townsville Dis­trict Court on Thurs­day, Crown pros­e­cu­tor Monique Shep­pard said Rans­ley’s most se­ri­ous of­fend­ing oc­curred on Oc­to­ber 2, 2017.

Ms Shep­pard said Rans­ley took a friend’s car with­out per­mis­sion, and used it to drive from Townsville to Ing­ham. In the early hours of the morn­ing Rans­ley broke into the home of a for­mer em­ployer at a farm south of Ing­ham.

“The de­fen­dant knew the house well given that he was em­ployed there for a num­ber of months,” Ms Shep­pard said. “He used his knowl­edge of the house, not only to en­ter the house but steal four fire- arms and am­mu­ni­tion which was se­curely stored at the prop­erty.”

The court heard the 76year- old male owner of the house woke and spot­ted the fig­ure of a man at­tempt­ing to hide be­hind a car in his garage.

He called out but the man ran off. It was not un­til sun­rise that the man re­alised the guns had been stolen and the po­lice were called.

Of­fi­cers re­ceived re­ports of a stolen car in an area nearby, which was be­ing driven by Rans­ley.

When po­lice at­tempted to stop the white Holden Com­modore the driver sped off.

“The de­fen­dant veered off the bi­tu­men and headed into the cane head­land,” Ms Shep­pard said.

“The de­fen­dant ac­cel­er­ated away … when it was clear that the de­fen­dant wasn’t go­ing to stop ( the po­lice) didn’t pur­sue fur­ther.”

A short time later more po­lice ar­rived and tried to stop the Holden but Rans­ley con­tin­ued to drive in and out of cane fields to avoid de­tec­tion.

He twice rammed po­lice ve­hi­cles dur­ing dra­matic in­ci­dent.

At one stage Rans­ley’s car ap­peared to be bogged and sev­eral of­fi­cers ap­proached the ve­hi­cle on foot only for him to ac­cel­er­ate and an of­fi­cer nar­rowly avoided im­pact.

Even­tu­ally Rans­ley drove into thick cane and the Com­modore be­came bogged.

Po­lice then drew arms, know­ing Rans­ley likely had guns with him, and man­aged to ar­rest him along with his pas­sen­ger.

The court heard Rans­ley had sup­plied metham­phetamine on five oc­ca­sions in 2017 in which amounts of up to 3.5g was ei­ther of­fered or ex­changed for com­mer­cial profit.

De­fence bar­ris­ter Har­vey Wal­ters said his client’s of­fend­ing was linked to drug abuse and he still had strong fam­ily sup­port and there­fore prospects for re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion.

Rans­ley was sen­tenced to five years’ im­pris­on­ment to be el­i­gi­ble for pa­role af­ter serv­ing 20 months.

He has al­ready spent more than 13 months be­hind bars. into the

WILD RIDE: Pa­trick John Rans­ley was ar­rested in a pad­dock.

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