Gympie resident Luke Raymond Watts used a syringe to hold two men hostage at a Gympie camping ground.
Gympie resident Luke Raymond Watts used a syringe to hold two men hostage at a Gympie camping ground. Contributed

Crazed ice addict turns camping trip into nightmare

AN idyllic Gympie camping adventure turned into a nightmare for two Gold Coasters when a violent, syringe-wielding drug addict threatened to kill the pair and bury their bodies.  

Gympie resident Luke Raymond Watts on Thursday pleaded guilty to 25 charges including deprivation of liberty and robbery with violence.

Most of the charges related to the 32-year-old's drug-fuelled attack on two strangers enjoying a relaxing break at the Glastonbury Creek camping ground in the Brooyar State Forest on July 18, 2016.

Brisbane District Court Judge Alexander Horneman-Wren sentenced Watts to three years in jail with parole eligibility in March, 2018.

Crown prosecutor Ron Swanwick told the court the victims were relaxing at the camp spot when a woman in the neighbouring tent began swearing and calling for help.

The men hesitated as they tried to decide whether or not to call the police, Mr Swanwick told the court.

That's when the accused came flying out of the woman's tent and yelled at the men not to intervene.

The men hesitated and, bizarrely, Watts then lambasted them for being "cowards" and not doing anything to save the woman.

Watts became more erratic and angry, before attacking them with a syringe and forcing them to sit in their camp chairs.

He yelled "I will kill you" and smacked one of them in the face, Mr Swanwick said.

"I'll put you in pine boxes and bury you on the hill," Watts told them.

Watts used the syringe to inject ice, before forcing the men to lay face down in the dirt.

The woman came out of the tent and he told her: "I can't let them go, they'll go to the police. I will bury them in the forest."

When Watts was distracted the men ran for their lives, jumping a fence and racing to a nearby farmhouse to seek help.

Finding no one home they ran to a road and hid in the bushes until a car came and they flagged it down.

By the time police officers got to the camping ground, Watts had taken the campers' car and all their gear and fled the scene.

He was eventually arrested and charged.

Watts' defence barrister Simone Bain told the court her client had a serious ice addiction and had spent so much time in jail that he was now "institutionalised".

Ms Bain said Watts tended to "black out" when committing crimes and he often "doesn't remember what happened".

"Sadly he's become used to jail life," she said.

"When he is in jail and unable to use drugs he is a more loving, caring, gentle person to deal with."

In sentencing Watts, Judge Horneman-Wren noted the accused's lengthy 15-year criminal history.

"Ultimately the best protection for the community is for you to be rehabilitated and stop offending," the judge said.

- NewsRegional



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