Police officer held hostage in terrifying ordeal
A FRIGHTENING ordeal where a police officer was held against his will on a rural property by a "belligerent and aggressive" Kogan refrigerator mechanic has been heard in Dalby Magistrates Court.
Nowra born father of four Luke Bradley Ellis faced the magistrate despondent and visibly shaken at the prospect of jail time for attempting to take a Tara policeman hostage.
When asked what he would be pleading by Magistrate Roger Stark, Ellis dejectedly responded with "I don't know", before reluctantly pleading guilty to the charge of deprivation of liberty.
The horror movie-like incident began on June 27 at 11.30am, when the policeman attended a Kogan property to serve unrelated papers to the 42-year-old.
The court heard the police officer spoke to the defendant's father and asked about Ellis' whereabouts.
Police prosecutor senior constable Jodie Tahana said Ellis then walked outside and asked the officer for a warrant.
"The victim officer stated he didn't have a warrant, and the defendant walked past him, entered his vehicle, and drove down his driveway out of sight towards the entrance to the place," she said.
"The defendant then parked his vehicle across the road entrance to the place, and proceeded to walk towards to his dwelling."
The court heard Ellis had walked back towards the house and approached him in an "intimidating" manner, with the victim officer attempting to explain his presence to the defendant.
Ellis then became "belligerent and aggressive" according to snr const Tahana, and told the officer "if you don't have a warrant, then you don't have proof, so f--k off".
The officer asked the defendant if he had blocked the exit, to which Ellis replied he could park his car wherever he wanted.
"The defendant advanced towards him on another two occasions, and the victim officer has told him to get back, with the defendant then entering the dwelling," snr const Tahana said.
"At this time the victim officer became concerned for his welfare, and chose to tactically withdraw from the situation."
The court heard the constable's ordeal had just begun, with Ellis' vehicle blocking the only exit.
The officer then called police communications for assistance on the rural property.
Ellis' father then told the officer of an alternative exit a short time later before the policeman attempted to escape the frightening situation.
At the sight of this, the court heard the defendant exited the home, hopped into his car, and attempted to block the officer's escape.
The victim officer managed to exit the place, despite Ellis attempting to pursue him inside the property.
The court heard about 1.50pm police from Toowoomba major organised crime squad attended the location with the victim officer, where they arrested Ellis and transported him to the Dalby watch house.
"He appeared to be affected by an unknown substance, and subsequently was attended to by QAS," snr const Tahana said.
"The defendant appeared to be unable to coherently answer questions about the matter, and was charged to appear before the court."
In her final submissions snr const Tahana asked for a term of imprisonment, wholly suspended.
Duty lawyer Claire Graham told the court the refrigeration mechanic accepted the charge, and said the June 27 offence was "concerning".
"He instructs he was intoxicated at that time, and acknowledges he was drinking a fair bit of late," she said.
"He is aware that he is not himself, or not the person he used to be."
Ms Graham said Ellis has been on anxiety medication, and is currently on a mental health care plan.
In her final submissions, she said her client had been a business owner and a married father of four, and "otherwise a contributing member of society".
Ms Graham told the court with some assistance he could get back to that place, but accepted a suspended term of imprisonment could serve as a deterrent.
Mr Stark said it was within range for him to impose an actual term of imprisonment for the deprivation of liberty charge.
He said the ordeal would've been "quite frightening" for the police officer on the rural property in Kogan.
Mr Stark said he would not condone this behaviour, and wouldn't of hesitated to send Ellis to "actual jail".
Ellis pleaded guilty and was sentenced to four months imprisonment, wholly suspended for 18 months.
A conviction was recorded.