A two-time prison escapee who confessed to a bank robbery during which a police officer was shot more than two decades ago now says he could not be responsible as he was in custody.
But a prosecutor says if Shane O'Reilly Ryan is found to have been at a correctional centre on March 24, 1999, the Crown's case would be that he "found a way to escape from that prison, commit the robbery and get back inside that prison".
Ryan's statement to police in December 2020 showed a level of knowledge about intimate details of the robbery, and came from a person who had "escaped from maximum security prisons on at least two other occasions", prosecutor Michael Andronicus said in a Brisbane court on Monday.
Police alleged earlier two men - who wore off-white plastic masks, surgical style gloves and carried two-way radios - forced their way into the bank at Browns Plains, south of Brisbane, on March 24, 1999, before holding staff and customers at gunpoint.
A third person acted as a lookout.
Two police officers responded and within moments Senior Constable Neil Scutts was shot, sustaining a serious wound to his groin.
His firearm, a Sturm Ruger .357 six-shot revolver, was stolen.
When Ryan was arrested in 2020 the case was Australia's only unsolved police shooting.
A committal hearing in Brisbane Magistrates Court was told the Crown's case relies on a record of interview and statement made by Ryan in December 2020.
But defence barrister Carl Martinovic said the interview record should be "treated with scepticism and caution" as Ryan had made "false submissions" because he was concerned about his mother being implicated on serious charges.
The defence will also argues there are discrepancies between what Ryan said and the prosecution's evidence.
But Mr Andronicus said Ryan was the first to tell authorities about an issue with Sen Const Scutts' holster during the theft of his gun.
That was confirmed by the officer in June 2021.
Mr Andronicus said the two men spoke during the robbery about the possibility of a gunfight if police arrived, according to a bank teller's statement.
Ryan's statement refers to police being lured into the bank and "confronted with hostages" and to him having given the other offender a loaded firearm, Mr Andronicus told the court.
Magistrate Andrew Moloney said Ryan's statement contained detail "consistent with the defendant's guilt", and detail that could best be described as grey.
He committed Ryan to stand trial, saying there was sufficient evidence that a jury, if they accepted his admissions, would convict him.
Asked whether he had anything to say, Ryan responded: "I was in prison ... It's hard to do this from prison."
Ryan is charged with attempted murder, deprivation of liberty and armed robbery.
He will face a Supreme Court trial on a date yet to be decided.
A bail application by Ryan was adjourned until July 18.
Australian Associated Press
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