IN COURT: Benjamin Colin Turner faced Dalby Magistrates Court on several charges. Picture: Brett Wortman
IN COURT: Benjamin Colin Turner faced Dalby Magistrates Court on several charges. Picture: Brett Wortman

Dalby man faces court for helping escaped prisoner

A DALBY man has been sentenced for helping a woman who was on the lam from police, after she escaped their custody while receiving treatment at hospital.

Benjamin Colin Turner, 31, faced court on numerous charges racked up over several months, including possessing weapons, dangerous drugs, and stealing.

The most serious offence occurred on June 23, when Turner’s partner at the time was receiving treatment at the hospital following her arrest by police.

Police prosecutor sergeant Derek Brady said the woman escaped, with police making attempts to locate the fugitive.

The court heard police intercepted Turner, a known associate of the fugitive, on June 27 in Dalby, and questioned him about her whereabouts.

“He stated he had not seen [the fugitive], and had no idea where she was, and had nothing to assist police,” sergeant Brady said.

“On July 8 police executed a warrant in Tara in relation to another matter, and it was during this time they located the wanted person and the defendant hiding in an old bus on that particular property.”

Sergeant Brady mentioned other offending, where Turner was caught with 0.821g of meth, a hand held taser, and a knife on separate occasions this year.

The court heard Turner had been subject to custodial sentences in the past relating to violence and weapons, as well as receiving probation orders and suspended sentences.

Defence lawyer Grant Young said the 31-year-old father had a disruptive childhood, and had been struggling with meth use for the past decade.

Mr Young said Turner realised he was getting a bit “long in the tooth” to be involved with drugs, and said he knew he was at risk of going into custody.

Dalby Magistrates Court.
Dalby Magistrates Court.

Magistrate Tracy Mossop told Turner his criminal history showed it wasn’t his first “rodeo”, stemming back more than a decade.

“Once you did become a young man of 19 and 20, you were coming before the courts for all sorts of offences,” she said.

“Contravening requirement back then, public nuisance, assault occasioning bodily harm, stealing, possess utensils.

“The more serious offences of entry of premises, and then also in 2013 there are entries of weapons and stealing.”

Magistrate Mossop told Turner she couldn’t let his five page history overwhelm her in considering his sentence, but said he had reached the “end of the line” after being given the benefit of fines, probation, and suspended sentences.

“If you continue down that path of engaging in drug use, and involving yourself in weapons, stealing property, or not complying with police ... then you’re going to find yourself back here and you’ll probably be going to jail,” she said.

“But that’s up to you.”

Turner pleaded guilty to all charges, and was given two months imprisonment for the February 8 weapons charge.

For the possession of meth he was given six months imprisonment.

For the possession of anything used in the commission of a drug offence he was given one month imprisonment.

For the possession of a utensil he was given one month imprisonment.

For the weapons charge on February 25 he was given three months imprisonment.

For contravening a police direction he was convicted and not further punished.

For stealing he was given three months imprisonment.

For the possession of a utensil on July 8 he was given one month imprisonment.

For failing to appear on August 4 he was given one month imprisonment.

For breaching bail on October 9 he was convicted and not further punished.

For helping a prisoner at large he was given six months imprisonment.

His whole sentence of imprisonment was wholly suspended for 18 months.

Turner was then ordered to pay $195 restitution for the stealing charge.

All convictions were recorded.


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