A court has heard a man who made Australia’s most wanted list for his alleged involvement in a burglary on the Sunshine Coast nine years ago has been “hiding in clear sight”.
Troy Newton, 38, appeared in the Maroochydore Magistrates Court this morning after being extradited from Western Australia over the alleged December 2006 crime, in which two armed men forced their way into Minyama home.
Mr Newton also faces charges relating to alleged Brisbane and Gold Coast offences, including a burglary which netted more than $200,000 in goods and a failure to appear in court .
Police have opposed bail for the 38-year-old on the basis of the seriousness of the crimes and the risk that he may fail to appear.
Prosecutor Tegan Smith told the court Newton had been avoiding the charges for a long time.
But lawyer Andrew Bale said his client had been “hiding in clear sight” in Western Australia unaware police were even looking for him.
Mr Bale said his client had served a month in Queensland prison since the alleged 2006 offence on the Sunshine Coast.
“He was of the understanding that when that was up, there was nothing else,” he said.
In regard to a charge of failing to appear in court in 2007, Mr Bale said his client had been an ice addict at the time and “may have forgotten to go to court.”
Mr Bale said Mr Newton, who now runs a fishing and charter business from Bremer Bay, had never used anything other than his real name and date of birth since his release.
He said his client had been the subject of security checks, had paid child support, and obtained university qualifications during the last nine years.
Mr Newton only learned he was a wanted man last week after a call from his family, who had seen information released by Crimestoppers.
On August 17, Crime Stoppers launched Operation Roam, seeking public help to locate 20 fugitives suspected of serious crimes.
Mr Bale said arrangements were being made for Mr Newton to surrender himself to Queensland police when police from Albany arrested him last Friday.
He said his client was willing to live with his parents in Port Maquarie if granted bail and they were willing to post a surety.