Druggie jailed after terrifying rampage through Gympie
A DRUG-ADDLED Gympie man pointed a gun at two strangers, attempted to steal their car and later pointed another gun at police and a random driver on a violent and frightening crime spree through the region in April.
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The Gympie District Court heard this week that Luke Raymond Watts, 36, went on a rampage in April of this year that began when he was given a lift by two women who shared a mutual acquaintance with him.
Watts directed the women to drive him to a secluded spot before producing a sawn-off firearm, pointing it and pressing it against the driver’s neck while threatening both in a bid to steal their car.
The two women got out of the car, took their keys with them and ran away when Watts pointed the gun at them for a second time.
The women managed to escape, but Watts made off with personal belongings he found in the car.
The next day police went looking for Watts, targeting a house where they thought he might be living. Watts drove by in an unregistered car and drove off again at speed on the wrong side of the road upon seeing the police.
Police searched the residence in question and found the shortened .308 rifle Watts had used in the robbery of the two women as well as the property he had stolen from them, two tasers, quantities of meth, oxycontin and morphine, and drug utensils including a syringe.
Police continued the search by looking for the car Watts was driving, and at some time that night he went to a shed and stole a portable generator.
The next day Watts went to a local motorbike shop and stole a cash tin, but police soon arrived and saw him get into his unregistered vehicle again.
Police stopped behind Watts and activated their lights and sirens, but Watts pulled out a rifle and pointed it at the officers.
As they retreated Watts got into his car and drove away “dangerously and at speed”, pointing his gun at another driver he encountered on the road.
When Watts was finally caught, he was found in possession of a pistol with a taser attachment, a folding knife, and six throwing knives in his car along with a used glass pipe and a laser pointer.
Judge Glen Cash noted an extensive criminal history against Watts, including a three-year jail term with parole after 18 months for offences including assault, wounding and armed robbery.
Judge Cash lamented submissions of Watts’ troubled background, and noted he had previously been diagnosed with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Watts was given a head sentence of six years’ jail after pleading guilty to 28 offences, including armed robbery, serious assault of police and going armed to cause fear.
Judge Cash declared he had served 208 days in pre-sentence custody since he was apprehended following his spree on May 2.
Watts’ parole eligibility date was set for May 2, 2022. He embraced his partner in the back of the court before he was led away by police.