The victim’s battered Ford Falcon XR6.
The victim’s battered Ford Falcon XR6. Meghan Kidd

Blackwater chef carjacked at knife point

"CALLOUS and cowardly" is how a police officer described the actions of two offenders, who carjacked a FIFO mine chef at knifepoint in Blackwater, sparking an eight-hour manhunt along the Capricorn Hwy.

Blackwater CIB head Detective Sergeant Alan Baker said the 37-year-old's ordeal began when he left the Rosewood camp and was confronted by two men wanting a lift to the highway, about 7pm on Monday.

"You do a Good Samaritan act... and you get your head jerked back and a sharp implement jammed up against your throat," Det Sgt Baker said.

"He was pretty shaken up."

Clinton David Williams, 29, from Spring Hill, and his alleged co-offender, Brenton James Nowlan, 27, from Flinders View, were charged with armed robbery in company, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, two counts of unlawful use of a motor vehicle, evading police and stealing offences.

Williams was remanded in custody until mid-June, when he appeared briefly in a Rockhampton court yesterday.

When the men dumped the chef from his yellow Ford Falcon XR6 near the Yarrabee Mine haul road, they sped off down the highway and crashed at the Baralaba Rd turn-off about 7.30pm, after a short police chase.

Williams was arrested about midnight east of Duaringa. Nowlan was captured at 3am. Police said a two-month-old puppy found in the crashed car was being cared for.

Det Sgt Baker said the pair's trail of crime began on April 17, when they stole a black Commodore and number plates in Brisbane.

The vehicle was dumped near Moranbah on Monday afternoon, after the tyres blew out, but not before a roadworks traffic controller narrowly avoided being hit.

Earlier the pair had driven off without paying for fuel from a service station near Mackay.

Det Sgt Baker said Williams and Nowlan, both unemployed, had associates in Rockhampton and Proserpine.

It is unknown how they got from Moranbah to Blackwater, but police believe they hitchhiked.

A Jellinbah miner, who stopped to help the hapless chef, said it was "a bit of an adventure coming home, that's for sure".

"He stomped out his cigarette and reached across to turn my radio off," the miner said.

"Listening to his conversation with police, I knew he had been through an ordeal, so I waited for him to settle into the seat.

"He said, 'oh mate, take me to Blackwater' and then he phoned his girlfriend to touch base with her.

"We hardly spoke, he was so flustered."

Det Sgt Baker said Duaringa, Blackwater, Woorabinda and Rockhampton police assisted in the men's arrest.

"But the use of the UHF radio and assistance from the public was invaluable," he said.



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