Neville John Hughes leaves the Warwick watchhouse for his court appearance yesterday.
Neville John Hughes leaves the Warwick watchhouse for his court appearance yesterday.

Shopping costs freedom

A TRIP to the supermarket on Sunday evening proved to be a freedom-limiting move for a man wanted by police for a string of offences.

Neville John Hughes, 30, was spotted by observant police officers entering the Supa IGA on Palmerin Street about 6pm on Sunday, but he wasn’t in a co-operative frame of mind.

Realising he was in strife, Hughes pushed two startled Supa IGA employees out of the way, hurdled a counter and proceeded to lead police on a foot chase through backyards and business premises in central Warwick.

But his frantic dash to liberty was cut short when he was apprehended by officers on Guy Street, where he was handcuffed and taken into custody.

The unemployed Hughes, who has been living in Warwick with his de facto, pleaded guilty yesterday to 15 offences relating to his criminal activities in Warwick, Allora, Dalby and Toowoomba.

The court heard Hughes was charged with possession of cannabis, amphetamine and drug scales and failing to dispose of drug needles, after being intercepted by police in Toowoomba and Dalby in October and November last year.

He also pleaded guilty to the break and enter of the Allora Pharmacy on January 14, and a pharmacy on West Street in Toowoomba on February 1, with the intention of obtaining pseudoephedrine, a chemical used in the manufacture of illegal amphetamines.

Hughes claimed he only came away with a bag of jellybeans from the Allora job – which he carried out with an accomplice whose case is still proceeding – but Magistrate Anne Thacker was not convinced this was a mitigating factor.

Hughes also pleaded guilty to breach of bail conditions and obstructing police.

Ms Thacker noted Hughes’ extensive criminal history, dating back to 1997, with repeated entries for drug possession, production and supply, along with dishonesty offences and a sexual assault.

She sentenced him to 16 months in prison with parole release set down for January 8 next year, after serving one-third of his term.


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