Car thief threatens to kill police officer and family

A GYMPIE police officer was told he would be killed and his family's heads "cut off" by a car thief who was under arrest despite having walked out of jail just days before.

The threats came after the officer asked a constable to draw a taser when the man in custody raised his fists in anger.

Gympie Magistrates Court heard that Mackay man Joe Andrew Leeder was lashing out in the watchhouse on September 11. When he was told to stop he started swearing at police.

The court heard Leeder's response was "you've seen my rap sheet. I don't give a f***".

Leeder was referring to a list of charges, including unlawful use of a vehicle, that led him to serve the entirety of an eight-month jail term.

He was released on Friday, September 6, ahead of his full-time release date on Sunday, which left him on parole for two days.

Less than 24 hours later, however, Leeder stole a Ford Ranger from outside a Rockhampton home. The court heard it was the third car he had tried to steal that night.

Leeder drove the Ranger to Mackay and then Brisbane but his joy ride was over when he stopped just south of Gympie on his way back to Mackay.

Police caught sight of Leeder on September 10 after staff at the Matilda service station at Kybong reported him stealing $92.10 in fuel. He was arrested shortly after at the corner of the Bruce Hwy way and Purcell Rd.

He pleaded guilty to two charges of attempting to steal a motor vehicle, the unlawful use of the Ford Ranger, driving unlicensed, stealing petrol and threatening violence.

He was sentenced to 15 months in jail with a parole release date of January 29 for all charges but the traffic and threatening violence charges, for which he was convicted and sentenced to a six-month suspended jail term respectively.

Gympie Times

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