Convicted bank robber Brenden Abbott is to be extradited to Western Australia where he faces up to 16 years in jail, a court has ruled.
A magistrate in Brisbane agreed that Abbott, dubbed the Postcard Bandit, should be returned to WA to serve out the remainder of a jail term outstanding since his escape from Fremantle jail in 1989.
However, the order has been suspended for 24 hours while Abbott’s lawyers file an appeal with the Supreme Court.
Abbott will have to face Perth Magistrates Court within 48 hours of the lifting of that suspension order.
The 53-year-old was released from Brisbane Correctional Centre this morning after 18 years behind bars and moved to Brisbane Magistrates Court, where the extradition case was heard.
Abbott had eight-and-a-half years still to serve for violent armed robbery and break and enter when he broke out of the WA prison.
Prosecutors on Tuesday said Abbott was facing 16 years prison in WA, with the offences now to be served cumulatively because of his prison break.
Abbott’s lawyer Andrew O’Brien wanted his client to be released into the community so he could live with his sister in Cairns, north Queensland.
Slipper Abbott eluded police twice
Abbott was one of the nation’s most slippery prisoners, having escaped two jails: WA’s Fremantle Prison in 1989 and the Queensland’s Sir David Longland Prison at Wacol in 1997.
Abbott earned his nickname for allegedly taunting WA Police while on the run, something his lawyer said never actually happened.
Most of his time spent behind bars in Queensland was in solitary confinement.
He had been convicted of several armed robberies in WA, including the hold-up of the Belmont Commonwealth Bank, where he and an accomplice dropped through the roof before threatening staff at gunpoint.
After five and a half years on the run, Abbott was eventually found at Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast with a large number of weapons, ammunition and $76,000 in cash.
He was then charged with a number of armed robberies in Queensland, involving more than $5 million that was never recovered.