Police admit drug trafficking accused still on the run
UPDATE, Thursday: A NORTH Mackay man facing drug trafficking charges in the Supreme Court was still on the run this afternoon - despite Queensland Police Service initially advising he had been recaptured.
Jessie Lawrance Walker, 24, appeared in Mackay Magistrates Court yesterday from the criminal dock in custody.
When bail was refused by Magistrate Mark Nolan, Walker fled through an unlocked door, barged past police officers, lawyers and members of the public and took off down Brisbane Street.
Shortly after the chaotic incident in Mackay Courthouse, Queensland Police Service said Walker had been returned to police custody and was back in Mackay Watch-house.
However, the Daily Mercury was advised this morning by a member of the legal community that Walker had not been caught as initially advised by police.
In a follow-up call to Queensland Police Service, a spokeswoman clarified that a warrant had been issued for Walker's arrest in relation to escaping from lawful custody.
She said Walker was still outstanding as of 12.30pm on Thursday.
Mackay Criminal Investigation Branch officer in charge Detective Jack Savage confirmed the latest information was correct and Walker had not yet been arrested.
It's not known how the incorrect information came to be disclosed.
EXCLUSIVE: Barging past a police officer and through the unlocked door of a criminal dock, a Mackay man facing Supreme Court drug trafficking accusations fled Mackay Courthouse.
However, Jessie Lawrance Walker, of North Mackay, was recaptured by officers within minutes.
The 24-year-old man was facing Mackay Magistrates Court from the dock this morning, charged with possessing dangerous drugs and obstructing police.
Walker's lawyer, Antoinette Morton, applied for bail on his behalf.
But Magistrate Mark Nolan found Walker presented an unacceptable risk of committing offences if he was freed on bail.
From the dock, Walker appeared to make a whistling-type noise to a woman supporting him from the public gallery before he made a move.
Slamming his body into a female police officer watching over him, Walker pushed through the dock's door and rammed through lawyers and members of the public.
Many in the courtroom were seemingly left stunned by Walker's sudden departure, which occurred in seconds and caused chaos in the usually subdued environment.
Ms Morton and other lawyers seemed shocked by Walker's actions.
While Walker moved quickly, it's understood he slipped through a security checkpoint at the courthouse before taking off down Brisbane Street.
Two police officers were seen emerging from the watch-house to search for Walker.
A Queensland Police Service spokesman confirmed at 11.30am that Walker had been returned to police custody and was in Mackay Watch-house.
It's not yet known if additional charges will be laid.