Man arrested in Toowoomba 22 years on
THE long arm of the law stretched back 22 years to pick up a man found in Toowoomba wanted on an arrest warrant dating back to 1997.
Bradley James Bell was just 17 when he and a juvenile boy aged 13 committed a series of house break-ins in Maryborough in 1997, Toowoomba District Court heard.
Bell's barrister David Jones explained that at the time his client and the juvenile had been living independently and had broken into homes to steal household items such as a toaster, kettle, TV, VCR and food and the like in order to live.
When picked up by police in Maryborough, Bell had not only made full admissions to the break-ins and thefts but as police drove him and the juvenile back to the police station he had pointed out houses that he had also broken into that police knew nothing about, prosecutor Ellen Fletcher told the court.
Bell was found by police in Toowoomba on Saturday walking in a park about dawn, the court heard.
Mr Jones said his client had come to Toowoomba from New South Wales to visit family at the weekend and had simply been walking in a park watching the sunrise.
When challenged by police he had given his correct name and was taken into custody on the outstanding 22-year-old warrant, he said.
The now 39-year-old spent the ensuing four days in the Toowoomba watch house before appearing in custody in court to plead guilty to all of the outstanding charges from 1997.
Mr Jones said his client had an interesting background and had been living "off the grid" near a billabong in New South Wales where he once acquired a horse simply for transport into town.
Back in 1997, the juvenile had pleaded guilty to the charges for which he was placed on a good behaviour bond but his client had left the area and gone to New South Wales where he had since married and had two children.
Mr Jones submitted his client be handed a good behaviour bond as well as Bell wasn't sure where he would end up next.
Judge Dennis Lynch QC noted Bell had been dealt with in Queensland courts for minor matters in 1999 but the warrant had not been activated.
Noting he had next to no criminal history in Queensland and that he had been out of trouble for at least the past 10 years, Judge Lynch sentenced Bell to the four days he had spent in custody which saw him released immediately.