Saturday Feb 04, 2023

Magistrate denies bail to man, 42, after two Brisbane sieges


A man with special needs who claimed to be making “tiny firecrackers” when explosives were found following two sieges in Brisbane has been refused bail.

Adam William Cheal will remain in custody after the Brisbane Magistrates Court heard the 42-year-old had received a jail term in 2008 when found with a home-made explosive.

Magistrate Belinda Merrin refused bail on Monday after receiving police photographs of evidence found at a Wooloowin residence including “commercial-grade detonators” following Cheal’s May 17 arrest.

“I have difficulty in accepting that what was located by police was for the purpose of making small firecrackers,” she said.

Cheal received a six-year jail term in 2008 for charges including attempting to injure by explosive or noxious substances and acts intending to maim disfigure or disable, the court heard.

“I understand that involved amongst other things a home-made explosive device,” Ms Merrin said.

Officers were called to the Wooloowin home last week after a resident said they had found “explosives and fuses” following Cheal’s departure, the court heard.

Police said Cheal “threatened to shoot a member of the household and then turned the gun on himself” before driving away.

The bomb squad searched the home before police declared a public safety preservation act and roped off surrounding streets.

Investigators tracked Cheal to a car at Coorparoo, cordoning off that area until officers arrested him without incident.

Bomb squad officers also safely detonated the explosives found in the Wooloowin house.

A search of the home found a number of items “consistent with the production or manufacture of explosives” along with other items including three replica guns, a knife and a Queensland Police badge, the court heard.

Duty lawyer Hellen Shilton said none of the police photographs contradicted Cheal’s explanation that the explosives found were for making “tiny firecrackers”.

Two of the replica guns were gel blasters used for paint ball and the other was a toy, she said.

Ms Shilton also played down the badge, saying Cheal had received an ID card for an “intelligence agency benefit fund” and had placed it in a Queensland Police wallet.

She said Cheal was in the possession of “FBI classification files” received through mail because he had a “fascination with finding missing persons”.

Cheal was of “low intellect” and been diagnosed with special needs throughout his school years, Ms Shilton said.

Cheal had also been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder after being assaulted during his previous jail term.

“My client’s greatest fear at present is … to be detained in a prison facility,” Ms Shilton said.

She requested that Cheal receive bail and live under 24-hour curfew with his parents – who were in court — at their Capalaba home.

Police said Cheal was in a “distressed state” during the alleged offences after being asked to move out of the Wooloowin unit where he had lived with his partner and family members, with a psychiatrist recommending he receive a “proper assessment”.

Ms Shilton said the parents would ensure Cheal would have no contact with the family at the home and ensure their son receives mental health treatment.

However Ms Merrin said Cheal was a “concern” to himself and the community after looking at the items police had seized, his mental state and his criminal history.

The matter has been adjourned until July 13.


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