Ian Robert Eastell Dougan fled from police custody in the Rockhampton District Court in late September.
Ian Robert Eastell Dougan fled from police custody in the Rockhampton District Court in late September. Queensland Police

He violently fled court, now he's been brought to justice

A GLADSTONE man who escaped custody from the Rockhampton court house has faced court again after being on the run for over a month.

Two police officers led Ian Robert Eastell Dougan into the same docks he broke free from in September, as he smiled at his family watching on from the gallery.

The court heard Dougan, 33, was found guilty of two sex offences after a four day trial earlier this year and was to be remanded in custody overnight awaiting sentencing.

Dougan asked Judge Michael Burnett if he could be allowed bail overnight to spend with his family, but this request was denied.

He then "convinced someone” to allow him to hug his partner, but pushed past the barristers in the court room and made his daring escape.

After getting to the ground floor of the court house, Dougan used his big frame to ram the automatic door at the front of the building until it came off its rails, causing $2964 of damage in the process.

Dougan was at large for approximately six weeks before he turned himself into police on November, 15.

Crown prosecutor Ryder Reid presented a new indictment to the court, charging Dougan with one count each of escape from lawful custody and wilful damage.

Mr Reid told the court Dougan's escape from custody represented a lack of remorse for the sex crimes he was convicted of and his conduct "strike(d) at the heart of the administration of justice”.

Dougan's defence barrister, Ross LoMonaco told the court his client was "overwhelmed” by the trial and the fact his family were unaware of the charges he was facing.

Mr LoMonaco said this led to Dougan "(choosing) to walk from the court room in the way that he did”.

In his sentencing remarks, Judge Burnett stressed upon Dougan the importance of remand, saying "you are not in custody because it seems like a good idea at the time... there is a significant community interest in having the matter disposed in a court of law before sentencing”.

Dougan was sentenced to 15 months for each of the two sex offences to be served concurrently and 12 and five months for escaping lawful custody and wilful damage respectively, also be served concurrently.

The prison time for the two groups of charges will be served cumulatively as 27 months behind bars, however Dougan will be eligible for parole on September 14, 2017.



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