Girlfriend of outlaw bikie who flew from Melbourne to Brisbane despite knowing he has COVID-19 says he went on the run because he feared for his life after shooting – as Queensland plunges into virus panic
- COVID-positive bikie has allegedly tried to enter Queensland from Melbourne
- Allegedly knew he had virus ‘some time ago’ before boarding flight on Monday
- He was in hospital recovering from drive-by shooting when he was diagnosed
- But he left hospital and fled to Gold Coast because he ‘feared for his life’
- The man spent seven years in jail for the shooting of another bikie
- Victoria recorded only 70 new cases of the deadly respiratory disease overnight
- Additional five deaths reported in Victoria – the fewest in more than two weeks
- State’s death toll has risen to 570 with 19,150 cases recorded within its borders
Notorious bikie Shane Bowden was infected with COVID-19 and allegedly flew from coronavirus hotspot Melbourne to Queensland
A notorious bikie who travelled from Victoria to Queensland while infected with COVID-19 was fleeing for his life, his girlfriend says.
Shane Bowden, a former member of the Mongols and Finks gangs, is accused of flying into Brisbane from coronavirus stricken Victoria on Monday morning in breach of strict border restrictions.
The 48-year-old knew he was COVID-positive when boarding the flight, and has now forced 84 other people on the flight into self-isolation.
The mother of Bowden’s teenage son and his on-again, off-again girlfriend Trudi McPhee told Herald Sun he was desperate to leave Melbourne and was concerned he was being ‘watched’ while in hospital receiving treatment for COVID-19.
Bowden was only released from a five-year prison stint two months ago, and within 15 days was the victim of a drive-by shooting.
He was in Royal Melbourne Hospital recovering from a gunshot to his leg when he was first diagnosed with COVID-19, and was still being treated for the virus 72 hours before he boarded the flight.
‘He is a pretty wild man, he was already wanted by Queensland police he had told me,’ Ms McPhee said.
‘He didn’t want to be in Victoria anymore.’
Bowden was a member of the Finks bikie cub when he shot Melbourne bikie Christopher Wayne Hudson
The last time Victoria recorded fewer than 70 infections in the space of a day was on July 3
Ms McPhee said she thinks Bowden ‘needs help’ after he began consumed with the theory that people were watching him while he was recovering in hospital.
‘He checked out of hospital because he was very scared, he was worried people were watching him all the time… He is obviously not thinking properly,’ she said.
Ms McPhee last heard from Bowden three days ago, when he was still an inpatient.
He made it clear that he wanted to head to the Gold Coast, but Ms McPhee said she had no clue just how quickly he would leave.
An urgent alert has been issued for those on board Bowden’s flight, Jetstar’s JQ560 from Melbourne to Brisbane, while it emerged Victoria Police tried in vain to track him down after he tested positive for the virus ‘some time ago’.
He was under police guard in quarantine, Queensland Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said.
But the Herald Sun reported he was taken from quarantine to a Gold Coast hospital on Tuesday after his leg became infected.
Travellers are temperature tested by health officials after arriving on a Qantas flight from Melbourne to Sydney on July 7
Motorists are stopped at a checkpoint at Coolangatta on the Queensland- New South Wales border earlier this month
‘This male person is well known to us,’ Mr Gollschewski told reporters on Tuesday, adding Bowden is accused of lying on his border declaration pass.
Authorities in the Sunshine State are investigating to see whether the man has committed an offence, Queensland Deputy Premier Steven Miles said.
Bowden spent seven years in prison for the shooting of another Melbourne bikie in 2006, and was said to be part of the Fink’s ‘Terror Team’.
He temporarily joined the Mongols but was recently booted from the club, Ms McPhee revealed.
‘He lived for the Mongols, whatever happened, why he got kicked out — it is not my business. But, when things like this keep happening it is my opinion it is time to hang up your boots and find something else to do,’ she said.
When he was released from jail in June, Bowden was ‘happy’ to be free and vowed to stay on the right side of the law, she added.
Bowden was picked up in a limousine after a five-year prison stint for a violent home invasion
An entourage of Mongols gang members travelled an hour and a half from Mebourne to meet Bowden with the limousine
The 48-year-old made a glitzy exit from jail – picked up in a limousine.
He was met by an entourage of fellow gang members on motorbikes, who travelled an hour and a half from Melbourne to meet Bowden, the Herald Sun reported.
He wrote in a social media post after his release and the subsequent shooting that he was excited to go back to Queensland.
‘Can’t [wait] to get back there as [soon] as I can get back X the border,’ he wrote, according to the Courier Mail.
The alleged breach comes as Victoria recorded just 70 new coronavirus cases overnight, the lowest increase in two months, with another five deaths.
A young woman stands next to a bicycle on Saturday in Melbourne during the city’s draconian Stage Four lockdown
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk meanwhile said on Tuesday she would keep her state’s borders closed for least a month, citing concerns about community transmission of COVID-19 in southern states.
‘We said we would review at the end of the each month and there has been no advice from the chief health officer to change what we are doing,’ she said.
The premier said Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young wanted to see southern states, and New South Wales in particular, complete two COVID-19 incubation cycles without any cases of community transmission.
Tuesday morning’s promising case total in Victoria was announced as Premier Daniel Andrews comes under increasing pressure to end Victoria’s economically-crippling Stage Four lockdown due to end on September 13.
Mr Andrews on Tuesday told reporters a road-map out of Stage Four restrictions was being constructed by government officials piece-by-piece.
‘With a full week’s additional data and the practical and really important input from workers, from business, from community groups, we on Sunday will be able to give people a clearer sense of what the phases to come look like,’ he said.
A masked cyclist is pictured on Church Street in the affluent Melbourne suburb of Brighton on Monday. Victoria has recorded a two-month low in daily COVID-19 infections on Tuesday
A drive-through COVID-19 testing facility is seen in Murarrie, Brisbane
The five deaths on Tuesday include two women in their 70s, two women in their 80s and one in her 90s.
A ‘Freedom Day’ protest on the streets of Melbourne planned for this Saturday has already drawn the support of tens of thousands of Victorians.
Victoria Police have also threatened to arrest AFL legend Sam Newman for calling on fellow Melburnians to take to the streets to protest the draconian restrictions.
The force told Daily Mail Australia on Monday they are already investigating the former Footy Show host and others for allegedly inciting Victorians to take to the streets against the controversial lockdown.
Newman issued his extraordinary call on Sunday after anti-lockdown protesters clashed with police in a dramatic stand-off in Broadmeadows in the city’s north.
‘Of all the protests that we have put up with, how about a quarter million of us gather in the CBD to take the City/State back, before EVERY previous march will have been pointless,’ Newman tweeted on Sunday night.
‘And hopefully a state day of coordination. Any takers? #StateofSurvival.’
On Monday, Victoria recorded its highest death toll yet with 41 fatalities and 73 new cases of the coronavirus.
Monday’s number included 33 deaths in the weeks leading up to August 27, but were only reported to Victoria Health by aged care facilities on Sunday.
Mr Andrews has announced a restrictions roadmap that will be put forward on Sunday, after another week of data has been recorded.
‘We will announce the roadmap to ease the restrictions we have all been living under,’ he said.
‘It is too early today to settle that roadmap and to lock that in as it were.’
‘Another week’s data is critically important to make sure that the strategy continues to work and for us to have a better sense of how long it will take to drive these numbers down to very, very low numbers so that they can be contained without the need to put restrictions back on over not just weeks and months.’
‘These case numbers are too high for us to open up, and they are still too high for us to put forward a definitive plan,’ he said.
‘There will be a plan. It will come soon. But it will be one that we can be confident of, not something that potentially gets a few people being happier.’
Masked pedestrians are pictured running and walking in Melbourne’s Docklands on August 31