Escaped prisoner's getaway driver faces court
A POLICE officer caught in a barbed wire fence, a getaway vehicle and a juvenile prisoner on the run.
These were just a few of the facts heard today when Delores Maree Goltz faced the Murgon magistrate, charged with obstructing a police officer.
On July 20 at 12pm a juvenile escaped custody while at the Murgon Courthouse.
Police prosecutor Barry Stevens said officers set up a cordon around the area in an attempt to locate the escaped prisoner.
"Police observed a vehicle being driven by the defendant come to a stop, and while indicating left towards Cherbourg the driver hesitated and police could see a person in the back of the car attempting to conceal himself," Sgt Stevens said.
"The vehicle drove off along Cherbourg Road and police attempted to intercept with emergency lights."
Sgt Stevens said when Goltz came to a stop, the prisoner fled from her car.
"He went under a barbed wire fence and the police officer was telling him to stop and that he was under arrest.
"At this time the defendant continued to drive in the vicinity and the escaped prisoner went back under the barbed wire fence," Sgt Stevens said.
"The officer attempted to do so but got caught up. He was telling the prisoner to stop as he ran towards the defendant's car."
Sgt Stevens said the officer yelled out to the defendant not to move her car.
"After the prisoner re-entered the vehicle, the defendant accelerated heavily back towards Cherbourg."
Sgt Stevens said police officers searched Cherbourg for the vehicle and the escaped prisoner.
"The car was located a short time later and after a considerable search the prisoner was located.
"The defendant participated in an interview and said she was aware the prisoner was wanted by police, however didn't offer an lawful reason for aiding the prisoner in escaping apprehension," he said.
ATSILS defence lawyer Margaret Crowther said the 43-year-old accepted the facts before the court.
"She realises that she did a stupid thing and should've let the police do their job," she said.
"She's looking at moving to the Northern Territory to do a traineeship in a hospital.
"We ask in these circumstances that you take into account her past, the fact that she does not have a criminal history and has pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity."
Magistrate Gary Finger told Goltz she could have been charged with a much more serious offence.
" You're very, very fortunate you're not here on a much more serious charge," he said.
"I've presided over plenty of obstruct police charges and this one is towards the higher end of the scale."
Magistrate Finger convicted and fined Goltz $800.
She was disqualified from holding or obtaining a driver's licence for two months.
The conviction was not recorded.