A NSW truckie has been slammed for putting lives at risk after he breached COVID-19 border restrictions. Picture: Jerad Williams
A NSW truckie has been slammed for putting lives at risk after he breached COVID-19 border restrictions. Picture: Jerad Williams

The truckie risking Mackay lives during COVID-19

A TRUCKIE has been roasted for putting lives "at risk" after he breached COVID-19 border closures while trying "to make a fresh start in Queensland".

The New South Welshman, who was driving a stolen prime mover with two trailers attached, was spotted parked opposite the Farleigh police station.

Allan Gannon was barely two months free from his latest stint in jail when he landed a job driving trucks and was tasked to deliver two trailers to Brisbane.

Mackay Magistrates Court heard he had been given a formal directive not to enter Queensland - but he did.

A road sign warning motorists of the COVID-19 QLD Border control. Picture: Jerad Williams
A road sign warning motorists of the COVID-19 QLD Border control. Picture: Jerad Williams

Now he must spend another five weeks in jail and has been slapped with a $3000 fine.

"He's putting Queenslanders at risk," Magistrate Bronwyn Hartigan said.

But on June 12 this year officers patrolling the Bruce Highway at Farleigh saw a prime mover, with New South Wales rego plates, and two trailers parked in the loading bay opposite the police station.

Checks revealed the prime mover, which belonged to Gannon's boss, and the two trailers had been reported stolen - and in fact the attached trailers were not the same two he had been told to deliver interstate.

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"You told police you were going to a funeral, you weren't able to produce any information about that and then you changed your story," Ms Hartigan said.

The court heard Gannon became upset when arrested and wrestled with one of the officers, even reaching for something on his equipment belt.

"You tried to grab at his … taser, gun … all of the things on (his) belt," Ms Hartigan said.

"That's very serious.

"It shows an intention on your part to try to get something from that belt … because all of the things on that belt are very dangerous."

Gannon pleaded guilty to five charges including unlawful use of a motor vehicle (the prime mover), receiving tainted property (the trailers), breaching COVID-19 border closures and obstructing police.

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Defence solicitor Danny Yarrow said his client had been in a bad headspace following his recent release from prison in April or March.

Once he got to Brisbane "he saw the open roads and decided he was going to make a fresh start in Queensland", Mr Yarrow said.

But Ms Hartigan said the facts suggested there was "a bit more to the story than that".

"It was probably a bit more involved than you getting up to Queensland and seeing the open road and just deciding to drive on, because at some point you picked up those trailers," she said.

"You were told to go back to New South Wales and not cross the border and you did.

"And that's very dangerous because schools have been shut down, people have had to work from home, it's been catastrophic for the community, pubs, clubs, restaurants coffee shops, they've all been shut because of this.

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"People have lost their jobs and no doubt people will suffer extreme financial consequences, and the way that the states have said let's arrest the spread of this is to close the borders.

"And you crossed the borders."

Gannon was jailed for nine months to be suspended on August 11 after he has served two months.

He was also fined $3000 for breaching the COVID-19 border restrictions - the maximum fine is $13,345.

Convictions were recorded.



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