The prisoner kicked his way out of the police van and ran off on the Toowoomba Range.
The prisoner kicked his way out of the police van and ran off on the Toowoomba Range.

Toowoomba Range escapee cops jail term

Prisoner escapes on Range: A prisoner being transported on the Toowoomba Range escapes from van.
Prisoner escapes on Range: A prisoner being transported on the Toowoomba Range escapes from van.

 

A PRISONER who kicked his way out of a police escort van at the top of the Toowoomba Range and then led police on a three-hour foot chase has been jailed for 18 months.

However, because Jason Lee Colless had already served six months pre-sentence custody since the escape on March 27, he was released on immediate parole.

Colless, who had turned 30 while in custody, was being transported with other prisoners to Brisbane jails about 8.30am, March 27, when he kicked open the van door as the van was on the down section of the Range.

He ran off with police officers in pursuit and was able to avoid police for a number of hours leading to a lock-down of East Toowoomba until he was eventually found inside the home of an 86-year-old woman.

The woman was unaware of her house "guest" when police knocked on her door but Colless was captured as he tried to flee out of a rear window.

He had taken the woman slippers and mobile phone while in the house.

Colless appeared by video link from Arthur Gorrie Correctional Centre to plead guilty before Toowoomba Magistrates Court to escape lawful custody and other charges arising from that as well as to a series of unrelated matters including multiple charges of unlawfully using motor vehicles, disqualified driving, burglary and obstructing police arising from an incident in March when he had led police on a 3km foot chase.

His solicitor Brad Skuse told the court his client had had a number of jobs but at the time of his arrest was engaged in professional bull riding.

His client intended returning to that pursuit upon his release, Mr Skuse said.

Acting Magistrate Roger Stark declared the 189 days served in pre-sentence custody as time served under the sentence and sentenced Colless to 18 months in jail but ordered he be released immediately on parole.