Siege suspect receives treatment
A MAN who allegedly held his mother and sister hostage for almost six hours during a dramatic daytime siege at Redbank Plains has been granted bail to be assessed for a mental health disorder.
Nicholas Alexander Brown, 18, allegedly held a 30cm boning knife to his mother's throat during the stand-off on April 23. Police said Brown demanded his ex-girlfriend be brought to him or he would kill his mother and sister.
Brown was arrested that day and has been in custody since.
His defence applied for bail at Ipswich Magistrates Court this week after a court-appointed mental health worker had concerns about the lack of psychiatric care available in prison.
She said despite being in custody for six weeks, Brown's mental state had not been investigated properly.
Magistrate Matthew McLaughlin expressed his disappointment at the government's inadequate handling of those in custody with possible mental health disorders.
Mr McLaughlin said it was a "sad state of affairs" that a young person would languish in custody for so long without being assessed or treated.
Brown was granted bail on the provision he be taken straight to the Ipswich General Hospital mental health unit.
If released from hospital, he is to report to police, will be returned to prison and a new bail application will have to be lodged.
He is also to have no contact with his ex-girlfriend and sister, and has been banned from attending his mother's premises.
The court heard Brown and the girl had a brief relationship at the start of the year, and after it ended in February Brown allegedly began stalking her - sending her almost 70 text messages a day as well as threatening messages on Facebook.
Charged with stalking and granted bail, Brown allegedly barricaded himself in his mother's Kanangra St home and phoned police, warning if they didn't bring his ex to his place he would kill his mother.
Dozens of police officers were backed by hostage negotiators and the heavily armed Special Emergency Response Team after the call came in at 7.30am.
The sister managed to escape unharmed at 8am.
By 1pm Brown surrendered and was taken into custody, charged with extortion, threatening violence, deprivation of liberty and assault occasioning bodily harm.
Brown's case will next be mentioned on July 11.