‘Fittest man in jail’ now on the outside
NOTORIOUS Gold Coast underworld figure Jade Lacey is a free man.
Lacey, one-half of the infamous Lacey brothers, has been quietly released on parole after serving 11½ years in maximum security for a string of violent crimes, including the 2007 fatal shooting of landscaper Kevin Palmer.
Lacey, 35, whose younger brother Dionne remains behind bars, has just had his first fortnight of freedom. He was met by his father, heavily tattooed Gold Coast identity Ken Lacey, on October 31.
The pair shared a cell for three months earlier this year when Ken, a former millionaire milkman, pleaded guilty to supplying cocaine.
Lacey, a convicted pistol-packing cocaine and ecstasy trafficker and former music producer, is on parole until 2022 and must wear an ankle tracking bracelet for three months.
But his family insists he has emerged from jail a changed man. He plans to work "legitimately" running a mate's Gold Coast gym, having honed his physique in prison pumping iron and boxing for four hours a day to become "the fittest man in the Queensland jail system".
Lacey's family admits he was one of the Gold Coast's biggest ecstasy dealers, raking in millions of dollars for him and his brother with the use of a pill press found by police after the siblings were arrested in 2007.
"He did the crimes and he deserved to do the time, but now he's determined to turn his life around," a family source told The Courier-Mail.
"He may have made a lot of money in the past in the drug trade, but money means nothing to him now - it's just about being happy, having his family and friends around him and focusing on fitness, health and the (gym) business.
"Being deprived of his liberty for so long has just made him appreciate the simple pleasures in life.
"Ken picked him up from the jail and Jade said it was a beautiful feeling seeing his father as the gates opened up.
"As soon as Jade got out, he drove straight to the beach and dived into the ocean to wash all the jail away from him and really feel freedom."
The family member said Lacey "can't wait" to see his girlfriend, Dutch fitness model Djanilla Boekweg, whom he hooked up with from behind bars eight years ago while she was living on the Gold Coast.
"She's stood by Jade since 2010 and she's a great girl," the source said.
"Djanilla is flying over from the Netherlands next month to live with him."
The Lacey brothers were handed hefty cumulative sentences for crimes including the Kevin Palmer killing and the torture of drug dealer Owen Matthews, who was forced to dig his own grave on South Stradbroke Island.
Lacey was acquitted of Palmer's murder, but guilty of unlawful wounding with intent. Dionne, who fired the fatal shot, was convicted of Palmer's manslaughter.
Lacey's other crimes included bashing a Broadbeach hairdresser in a salon full of people in 2006 for "disrespecting" his then girlfriend, Alina Vasilievna Shadrina.
Lacey's family is convinced he copped an effective 15-year sentence because he refused to break the clan's "strict code of silence".
Dionne Lacey is serving his sentence in Victoria after being transferred two years ago to be closer to his mother Madeleine's Italian side of the family.