Queensland woman sentenced to four years jail after helping son flee Australia

hand holding handcuffs

A 67-year-old Queensland woman has been sentenced to four years in jail for attempting to pervert the course of justice and giving false evidence after helping her son flee a pending trial in Australia.

The investigation found the woman deliberately misled judicial proceedings after her son failed to face court for cocaine importation and trafficking charges in 2015.

Police found she assisted her son in evading authorities by purchasing and preparing a yacht for him to flee on while he was on bail in 2015.

The woman told the Supreme Court in 2016 that she had not contacted her son for several weeks and that her son had taken his own life.

Property and cash totalling $395,000 (which was provided to secure his bail) was forfeited to the court following his disappearance.

The man was wanted by the AFP for his role in allegedly importing more than 71 kilograms of cocaine into Australia in 2011. A two-year international operation resulted in his arrest in the Philippines in September 2017.

Australian Federal Police (AFP) and Queensland Police Service (QPS) officers arrested the woman in Mackay on 28 July, 2019.

The woman was found guilty of giving false testimony and of attempting to pervert justice in Mackay District Court on 12 November 2020.

She has been sentenced to four years in jail with a non-parole period of two years.

AFP Detective Acting Superintendent Crime Northern Command, Tim Puchala said the sentence was the result of a police investigation that spanned several years.

"Since the investigation was launched almost a decade ago in 2011, members of the Australian Federal Police, working with our partners, have spent countless hours to bring these people to justice" he said.

"This shows the dedication of the AFP to pursuing not only those who try to bring drugs into this country but any individuals who support organised crime."

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