Ross Williams pleaded guilty in the Maroochydore Magistrates Court today.
Ross Williams pleaded guilty in the Maroochydore Magistrates Court today.

Man caught with rifle, knife heading to servo

A man who was caught with a rifle and a knife while riding a pushbike to a service station has narrowly avoided jail time.

Ross Williams, 37, pleaded guilty in Maroochydore Magistrates Court on Monday to 21 charges including drug driving, evading police and possessing a rifle and knives.

Police prosecutor Stuart Lydford told the court Williams dangerously drove a moped with a passenger on Coolum Beach esplanade on October 26, last year.

Sergeant Lydford said Williams had been to court on a separate traffic matter October 4.

“So he only lasted about three weeks after being disqualified, before he drove again,” Sgt Lydford said.

The court heard Williams had evaded police for more than 100m before they caught up to him.

Sergeant Lydford said he would be generous enough to suggest a fine for the evading police offence as Williams wanted to return to his home state of Victoria after a relationship breakdown with his partner last year.

“Given the fact that the evade was the least serious evade police could have had on the job, a fine would be suitable – two clowns on a moped were never going to get far,” he said.

The court heard that after being intercepted by police, Williams tested positive in a roadside drug test and was found to have methamphetamine.

Sergeant Lydford said Williams was caught on April 8 with a rifle and a knife while on a pushbike and was also found with methamphetamine.

“It is a little bit concerning that in the wee hours of the morning he’s riding his push bike to a service station with a rifle,” he said.

Williams had spent the past three months in custody after breaching multiple bail conditions.

The court heard Williams had been kicked out by the owner of his bail address property and had since been homeless and living on the beach.

The court also heard that the rifle found on Williams was deconstructed and he had found it in some bush near where he was staying.

Magistrate Rod Madsen said he was willing to not jail Williams for the evading police, so he would be able to return to Victoria once COVID-19 travel restrictions had lifted.

“While it’s not the worst example of an evade, I would have been concerned if police hadn’t managed to catch up with a moped,” he said.

“And that’s pretty good for you, because you and that other guy on the moped might have ended up a bit worse for wear if that car had struck you.

“The tragedy of all this is that your crimes seem to be escalating.

“Other than some dated history in Victoria, you’ve managed to make a good run of things in Queensland at the start and then everything just went pear shaped.”

He jailed Williams for six months but immediately released him on parole.

Williams was fined $6672.50 for evading police and disqualified from driving for two years and four months.