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Court outburst: Townsville men charged over fatal crash remanded in custody


An 18-year-old man charged over a fatal car crash that killed Jennifer Board in Townsville is denied bail by a magistrate after an outburst in a north Queensland court.

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In a separate hearing, a 25-year-old alleged vigilante was remanded in custody on a murder charge over the same fatal crash.

Gregory Clubb appeared for a bail application in the Townsville Magistrates Court on Tuesday morning.

Police allege he was driving a stolen car involved in a fatal crash in Townsville that killed 22-year-old motorcyclist Jennifer Board just before 10:00pm on Friday.

The hearing quickly became heated with Clubb shouting abuse at police prosecutor Senior Sergeant Roger Beal and magistrate Viviana Keegan.

It came as Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced new measures to crackdown on youth crime, including fitting repeat offenders with GPS trackers and introducing a presumption against bail for those charged with serious offences in a crackdown also targeting hoons and nightclub thugs.

Police prosecutors would need to argue why someone should be kept in custody, and the alleged offender would need to justify their continued freedom. Palaszczuk said that would also put more pressure on the families of young people to convince the courts they will not present a risk to the public if released on bail.

For the first time in Queensland, some courts will be given the added option of ordering 16 or 17-year-old alleged offenders to wear GPS trackers while on bail. That will be trialled, in the Townsville, Logan, Gold Coast, Moreton and North Brisbane regions.

Following Jennifer Broad’s death, Clubb yesterday was arrested and charged with 20 offences, including dangerous operation of a motor vehicle and breach of bail conditions.

His solicitor Shontelle Samuel told the court she believed remanding him in pre-sentence custody would be “unjustified” and argued the risk of him reoffending or failing to appear could be mitigated by a 24-hour curfew and a condition he be made to appear at a police station in the company of his mother.

The police prosecutor briefly argued against the bail application, telling Keegan that Clubb had committed offences of a similar nature as a juvenile and had been on bail for offences of a similar nature when he was arrested yesterday.

The court heard he had been granted bail in January but had not been complying with the condition that he live with his mother.

“No conditions at this time which are going to keep Mr Clubb under control,” prosecutor Beal told the court.

“His mother has not been able to control him up until this point in time.”

The hearing quickly became heated, with Clubb shouting abuse from the dock at Beal.

“You don’t know s***, you don’t know f*** all, shut the f*** up,” he said.

Magistrate Keegan intervened and told police she did not need to hear more about the objection to the bail application.

However, she was interrupted by more verbal abuse from Clubb, who called her a “c***head”.

He then said he would “bash” her.

Clubb’s mother and his older brother tried to calm the situation, calling out to him to stop.

However, his brother stormed out of the court and said he believed the court “blamed” his brother for the fatal incident.

Before Clubb was removed from the dock, he indicated he felt remorseful for his alleged involvement the fatal crash.

“I blame myself for it every day,” he said.

He was denied bail and remanded in custody.

Meanwhile, a 25-year-old man charged with murder over Ms Board’s death was remanded in custody at a separate hearing in the court in Townsville.

Police allege Christopher Michael Hughes, from Bushland Beach in Townsville, was driving a car that struck and killed Jennifer Board while he was in pursuit of a stolen car.

Lawyers representing the alleged vigilante briefly appeared in the Townsville Magistrates Court this morning.

During the brief mention, solicitor Jarred Mace requested a brief of evidence from police, which is expected to take six weeks.

Hughes’ matter has been adjourned until March 31.

Palaszczuk said legislation would be introduced to support the crackdown targeting the 10 per cent of young offenders responsible for almost half of the crimes by their cohort.

“We can’t just do one thing, we have to do everything that is at our disposal,” Palaszczuk said.

Veteran police officer Cheryl Scanlon will head a new state-wide youth crime taskforce, and today said engaging the families of alleged offenders was “critical” in tackling the problem. That follows the formation of another Townsville-specific police taskforce.

Scanlon downplayed the need for bail breaches to be a criminal offence, as demanded by the Opposition, saying the issue was complex and multi-faceted.

“It’s important that there is a parent or guardian in court and that’s also about the root cause … and why are they out at 2 o’clock in the morning stealing motor vehicles,” Scanlon said.


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