Townsville Bulletin

Magistrate victim of crime spree


A NORTH Queensland magistrate was one of multiple victims targeted by a duo who allegedly committed a crime rampage up the Queensland coast.

Magistrate Cathy Wadley was allegedly threatened by Mitchell Ryan West, 29, before he allegedly stole her Volkswagen on Monday afternoon.

Police allege at 5.40pm, West broke into Ms Wadley’s house near Cromarty, south of Alligator Creek, and demanded car keys.

He took off along the Bruce Highway, but police were able to stop the car after deploying a tyre deflation device at the Alligator Creek Bridge.

West was arrested and taken to the watch-house almost six hours after the alleged crime spree started at Sarina.

Police allege that at 12.20pm West and a 30-yearold man in a silver sedan approached a drive-through bottle shop in Broad St, Sarina.

One man, wearing a fishing mask, exited the vehicle and allegedly threatened an employee with a tyre iron while demanding money.

The man allegedly took a sum of money and liquor before re-entering the sedan and driving away.

About 3pm, two men approached the owner of a white Mitsubishi Triton while it was parked on the corner of Argyle Park Rd and Duke St, Bowen. The men allegedly threatened the owner before entering the Triton and driving away.

About 4.20pm, a 30-yearold Woodridge man was arrested by police at a property at Salisbury Plains.

Police allege West then targeted Ms Wadley, a former Legal Aid solicitor, before his arrest.

Ms Wadley has been a magistrate since 2007 and regularly works at the Townsville Courthouse.

In 1993, Ms Wadley received a Bachelor of Laws degree and the following year was admitted as a solicitor.

Ms Wadley worked as a solicitor of Legal Aid for 10 years before her progressio­n to magistrate.

West faced Townsville Magistrate­s Court from custody on Tuesday where his lawyer made no applicatio­n for bail and explained her client was wanted on a return

to prison warrant. West has 10 fresh charges including two counts of robbery but faces more than 20 charges some of which were allegedly committed in other parts of the state.

Legal Aid solicitor Lorelei Billing told the court West’s matter would need to be sent outside the Townsville court jurisdicti­on.

Presiding Magistrate Viviana Keegan agreed and said that was best for everyone involved. The 30-year-old man faced Bowen Magistrate­s Court on Monday.

 ??  ?? Dashcam captures the arrest of Mitchell Ryan West, 29, and (inset) Magistrate Cathy Wadley.
Dashcam captures the arrest of Mitchell Ryan West, 29, and (inset) Magistrate Cathy Wadley.

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