‘Why am I here?’: Man accused of cyclist’s death
THE man accused of killing cyclist Cameron Frewer with his car appeared in court today with claims he skipped out on his sentencing last week as he had been lost in the bush for nine days while "heavily medicated" on prescription drugs.
John Joseph Taylor, 45, was scheduled to enter pleas and be sentenced in Maroochydore District Court last Monday for dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing the death of Mr Frewer, and driving with a relevant drug in his system.
Taylor failed to appear and avoided police detection until Caloundra police arrested him at a Warana home on Saturday.
Prosecutor Nichale Bool told the court Taylor hid from police in the house then tried to run out the door, but officers were waiting outside to arrest him.
Taylor fronted Maroochydore Magistrates Court today gaunt and in a prison jumpsuit, charged with breaching his bail by failing to appear.
Duty lawyer Cameron Hodges told the court Taylor wished to "speak to mental health before proceeding to any trial or sentence", but during the proceedings Taylor instead requested to apply for bail.
Magistrate Haydn Stjernqvist immediately denied the application and said Taylor had failed to provide a genuine reason as to why he did not appear in court on Monday last week.
Mr Stjernqvist said Taylor had a criminal history of failing to appear and breaching bail conditions, as recent as December last year.
"Failure to appear is a contempt offence, and it's a significant contempt," Mr Stjernqvist said.
Taylor denied he had hidden from police, and claimed medication his doctors had prescribed "caused most of these problems".
"I wasn't hiding there in the residence I was picking up my stuff,' he said.
"I spent the last nine days in bushland while under that heavy medication.
"I didn't know where the f---, excuse me, where I was, because of the heavy medication the doctor prescribed me.
"And I still to this day, I don't really understand why I am here and what I am doing."
Mr Stjernqvist sentenced Taylor to three months in jail suspended for one year for breaching bail, and his initial charges were immediately recommitted to the Maroochydore District Court.
Shortly after, during a brief mention before Judge Glen Cash, it was determined neither Mr Hodges nor the Director of Public Prosecutions were in a position to proceed with the matter.
Taylor's former lawyers withdrew from the case when he failed to appear in District Court.
Mr Hodges said he would need to take instructions from Taylor and urgently lodge a Legal Aid application on his behalf.
The matter was listed for call-over on March 18, but can be brought on sooner by either party if necessary.
Taylor has not entered pleas to his initial charges, and was remanded in custody.