Jailbreak for love: an ice trafficker's brazen escape
LOVE was the driving force behind a Mackay prisoner's brazen escape from police custody - he was involved in trafficking ice and was scared his girlfriend would break up with him.
Jessie Lawrance Walker shuffled into Mackay Supreme Court today wearing a dark blue suit and shackles around his ankles.
The 25 year old had spent 36 days on the run after fleeing the courtroom dock and barging past police after his bail refused earlier this year.
Defence barrister Scott McLennan said Walker described the decision as "a moment of madness and something he really regrets".
"He was concerned that his partner, who he loves, would break off the relationship that prompted him to escape custody," Mr McLennan said, adding that Walker's girlfriend was "one of the few shining lights" of his client's life.
She was not a drug user and Walker had been caught up in an ice trafficking ring led by a Brisbane-based man, whose case is still before the court.
Walker's stoic expression crumbled when a group of supporters that included family and his girlfriend sat behind him in the courtroom and he wiped away tears.
"His life has been derailed by methylamphetamines from the age of 21," Mr McLennan said.
"By the end of 2018 he was a full-blown addict, he turned to trafficking in order to feed his habit."
Crown prosecutor Samantha O'Rourke said Walker helped the other man, who allegedly sat above a street level dealer, push wholesale drug amounts to other dealers.
Walker booked or provided accommodation, moved hire cars and alerted him to police presence.
"(Walker) allowed the delivery of almost 10 ounces of methylamphetamines to (the other man) at his house," Ms O'Rourke said.
A drug detection dog found 186.189 grams of pure methylamphetamines in 276 grams of substance during a police raid at Walker's home. Officers also found $6060 in cash in Walker's bedroom - the proceeds of drug sales.
Walker pleaded guilty to eight charges including trafficking and escaping lawful custody. He has since spent 218 days on remand and in that time had completed a four-week substance abuse program and a certificate two in engineering.
Justice James Douglas said Walker was assisting in a drug venture that went beyond street level dealing and jailed him for four and a half years.
"Escaping from lawful custody is a serious offence and one that should not be encouraged and it should attract a significant penalty as a result," Justice Douglas said, adding a cumulative 12-month term.
Walker will be eligible for parole on November 21 next year. On release he planned to move in with his girlfriend, who lived in Airlie Beach.