Gun advocate’s son jailed after using a weapon in hold-up
THE son of a right-wing gun advocate left a trail of destruction throughout Southport when he used a replica gun to hold up a service station, steal three cars and hold a three-hour siege in another garage.
It was the second time in four years Jaimie Ronald Madden had gone on an armed spree after bingeing on drugs.
The replica handgun, made from a zinc alloy, was so convincing it was not until police conducted ballistic testing they realised it was a fake.
Madden pleaded guilty in the Southport District Court yesterday to 15 charges including armed robbery, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, unlawful possession of a weapon and wilful damage.
Prosecutor Kathleen Christopherson told the court Madden and alleged co-accused Leah Wooley got into a cab and asked to be taken into Southport about 7pm on August 15.
During the drive Madden took out the replica gun, smashed a window and forced the cab driver to run a red light.
He made the cab driver stop at a service station in Ferry Rd, Southport, where he and Wooley allegedly went inside.
Madden brandished the gun and threatened the shop attendant while Wooley allegedly stole cigarettes and drinks, the court was told.
Madden then stole a car from someone at the petrol station.
When the car had problems Madden pulled over at a Caltex service station and stole another car from a man at gunpoint.
Madden fled and Wooley allegedly begged him to stop or slow down, with him agreeing to slow down at a corner and let her out.
Ms Christopherson said Madden then stole a Kia Rio from a man stopped at the intersection of Johnston and Wardoo Streets.
"Police were rung numerous times and were following with lights and sirens," she said.
"They were about 10m away when he leaned out of the car and pointed the gun towards them. His whole torso was out of the car."
The court was told police heard Madden yell unintelligible words.
Police managed to stop the car near Freedom Fuels using tyre deflation devices.
Madden ran inside, pointing the replica gun at police. The shop attendant escaped out the back.
Madden stayed in the service station for three hours before putting the replica handgun on the counter and walking outside.
"This offending clearly would have been terrifying for each and every one of the victims," Ms Christopherson said.
"It's a wonder that everyone came out unscathed."
The 29-year-old is the son of Kim Vuga, founder of Love Australia or Leave, and has advocated for "open carry" of weapons in Australia.
At the time of Madden's crime spree on August 16 last year, Ms Vuga said her position on guns had not changed and that she supported the death penalty for drug dealers.
Ms Vuga supplied a reference for Madden in court yesterday.
Judge Katherine McGinness said Ms Vuga was "very realistic" about Madden's drug problems and the serious nature of his offending.
"She remains incredibly supportive but also gives some insight to the positive aspects you have," she said.
Judge McGinness sentenced Madden to seven years prison with parole eligibility on August 16 next year.
"It's very fortunate no members of the public were killed or injured by your behaviour," she said.
"Although the weapon was a replica, you brandished it in such a way that there is no doubt it terrified everyone who saw it."
Madden took the unusual step of reading a short statement to the court.
"I would like to apologise to the community, especially those who were directly impacted by my actions," he said.
Madden, who started his own drilling company in Townsville, said he was struggling with depression after a workplace injury.
He had moved to the Gold Coast in 2018 and shortly before the crime spree his partner returned to north Queensland with their two children.
Originally published as Gun advocate's son jailed for armed hold up