ACT News


Wanted man lied to police, fled to avoid returning to Queensland, court hears

A wanted man allegedly lied to ACT police and led them on a chase through Red Hill flats on Monday because he feared being taken back to Queensland, a court has heard. 

Shaun Collins, 27, fractured his kneecap after being tackled to the ground during the short foot chase, while court documents suggest police were also injured as they detained him.

Officers noticed Collins while conducting a mobile traffic patrol on La Perouse Street in Red Hill, using number plate recognition technology. 

A Nissan Micra, reported as stolen, drove past police. The officers followed the car as it travelled east along La Perouse Street, before turning right into Cygnet Crescent and pulling into a car park attached to the Red Hill flats. 

The car was described as moving "at speed".

Collins, who later told a court that he was not the driver, was allegedly seen to flee from the passenger seat of the car, running to the back of one of the unit blocks. 


Officers searched the area, but were unable to locate him. 

Police say the Micra had different numberplates on the front and rear, and noticed plastic around the car's steering column was removed and the ignition lock was hanging loose. 

Collins was later found inside a unit on Discovery Street, pretending to be asleep on a couch. 

He was placed under arrest. 

Police say he repeatedly told them his name was Michael Bright, and gave a false date of birth. 

He said he had been asleep for the past five hours.

As police took him to their car, Collins allegedly saw the Micra and said:

"I've got nothing to do with that car."

In court documents, police noted they had made no mention of the Nissan and that the car was well out of sight when Collins was arrested.

He was taken to a sheltered alcove, out of the rain, while police checked his identity. 

Collins began to complain of chest pains, breathing difficulties, and huddled in a seated position while shaking uncontrollably. Police said they called an ambulance. 

Court documents state that once police established Collins' identity, and found him to be the subject of warrants in NSW and Queensland, the defendant allegedly became belligerent and argumentative. 

He told police he had lied to them because he was scared. The  ACT Magistrates Court later heard he feared old associates in Queensland. 

Police said Collins then got up and ran from police, fleeing through the Red Hill flats. 

Officers gave chase and tackled him to the ground a short distance later. Court documents allege he resisted police, who were forced to remove his arms from underneath his body and restrain him with handcuffs.

"Both the police and the defendant suffered a number of injuries in the struggle," police said in a statement of facts.

Collins was taken to hospital by ambulance, and appeared on crutches in the ACT Magistrates Court on Tuesday. 

The court heard he had a fractured kneecap and sustained a significant injury to his ankle. 

He was charged with providing a false name or address, attempting to escape arrest, and obstructing and resisting a public official. 

Collins applied for bail, but prosecutors opposed it on the grounds that he was likely to fail to appear in court, reoffend, or endanger witnesses.

After being charged, Collins said: 

"Can I just plead guilty to what I've done wrong?"

He then spoke with his lawyer and entered no pleas. 

Magistrate Peter Morrison denied Collins bail, saying there was a likelihood of him failing to appear in court on the next occasion.

Upon being denied bail, Collins asked whether he could plead guilty and be sentenced on the spot. 

Mr Morrison said that was not possible.

Collins will reappear in court later this month.