Gun-toting Harley rider jailed

A HARLEY Davidson biker in camouflage clothes who caused fear on the Bruce Hwy when he rode into a Booyal service station with a rifle has been jailed.

Two women became frightened when the man, who seemed agitated, leant the gun up against a fuel bowser.

A Bundaberg magistrate has accepted medical evidence Darryl Crook was suffering an episode of mental illness at the time that would have impacted his decision-making.

Crook, 48, from Goodnight Scrub, had been held overnight in the Bundaberg police watch-house to allow Magistrate Belinda Merrin time to consider evidence and defence submissions from his lawyer Mat Maloy.

Ms Merrin said she accepted Crook had been mentally unwell at the time but a psychiatrist’s report did not conclude what role his mental health issues had in the offending.

Crook has a medical diagnosis of schizophrenia and was likely experiencing symptoms that day.

He pleaded guilty to going armed so as to cause fear at Booyal on January 25; failing to stop for police; dangerous operation of a vehicle; driving unlicensed; producing dangerous drugs (marijuana) at Goodnight; two counts of unlawful possession of weapons; and having unauthorised explosives (ammunition).

Mr Maloy had told the court Crook instructed the rifle was a replica he had intended to give the RSL at Childers and that there had been “no intent or malice” in Crook’s behaviour.

He said the guns police found Crook had used to control vermin on his 20ha property.

The court heard Crook fled from police up the highway and failed to stop. They later found 13 marijuana plants on his rural property as well as the motorbike and clothes, which had been hidden.

A hand gun was found under a water tank and two rifles were located in a safe.

Ms Merrin found Crook deliberately rode away from the officers then travelled at significant speed, crossing onto the wrong side of the road near blind corners.

She noted his extensive criminal history for drug offences and sentenced Crook to 12 months jail for the production of marijuana offence.

Crook received six months jail for going armed so as to cause fear, eight months jail for the dangerous operation of a vehicle, lesser penalties for the other offences, and ordered to serve 50 days jail for failing to stop.

The jail terms are concurrent and he will be released on November 18.

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Craig Ballantyne

I love anything to do with Harley Davidson and have two beautiful children and a beautiful partner. In my spare time i like building websites and love anything to do with the internet.

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