Fear millionaire fugitive’s mum will flee country on yacht
AUTHORITIES fear an elderly Mackay woman accused of helping her alleged cocaine trafficking son escape Australia may buy a yacht and also flee the country.
Elizabeth Anne Turner on Monday asked Brisbane Supreme Court to release her on bail.
Justice Peter Flanagan allowed her to leave prison on the basis a $75,000 surety be posted and that she comply with strict conditions.
The decision followed Crown prosecutor Ben Power telling Justice Flanagan there was a risk Mrs Turner might leave Australia like her son Markis Scott Turner did four years ago.
Mrs Turner is accused of facilitating the flight of Mr Turner to the Philippines by allegedly buying and preparing the yacht he is accused of using to escape.
The 65-year-old is also accused of misleading police by claiming her son ended his own life.
Mrs Turner is charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice and giving false evidence over the disappearance of her millionaire son.
"She is aware of how easy it is to leave the jurisdiction by yacht if she chooses to do so," Mr Power told the court on Monday.
"Given she is 65 years old, she may decide she does not want to spend two or three years in custody."
Her son was arrested in May 2011 over allegations he was part of a major syndicate plotting to import around 71 kilos of cocaine worth $20 million into Australia.
He was charged and granted bail after his family provided a $550,000 surety.
The property and cash used to secure his release was forfeited to the court following his disappearance.
Mr Turner was arrested in the Philippines in September of 2017, but has not yet returned to Australia.
At Monday's bail application, Mrs Turner's barrister argued she should be released so she can care for her frail husband, saying a $75,000 surety would be enough to ensure she remained in Queensland.
Justice Flanagan noted that she owned significant property and that "she knows how to get access to a yacht to escape".
However, he said she had no criminal history, had strong ties to the community and was caring for her ailing husband.
"There is a difference between a mum acting in the interests of her son escaping the jurisdiction and her risk of failing to appear," Justice Flanagan said.
"She is able to report twice weekly to police and she will give a $75,000 cash deposit to ensure that she appears."
Justice Flanagan said if Mrs Turner failed to appear the consequences would be harsh.
Mrs Turner and her family have extensive business interests in Mackay region and on the Sunshine Coast. - NewsRegional