'Heart attack' man down at heel in court

THE man whose feigned heart attack got him an ambulance ride to hospital and let him escape pursuing police, cut a dismal figure when he appeared before Lismore Local Court.

It was clear that Daniel Louis Buttress-Grove, 32, with a list of former addresses across the region including Goonellabah, Tyalgum, Lismore, and Bray Park, and a matching paper trail of outstanding arrest warrants, was now grounded after leading pursuing police a merry dance at Murwillumbah on December 15.

He was found the next day in a ward at Murwillumbah Hospital, where he had been taken by the ambulance.

A doctor confirmed to police he had no illness and could leave.

Appearing via a video link from Grafton jail he pleaded guilty to two offences relating to December 15: Driving without a licence, and resisting police in the execution of their duty.

Buttress-Grove also pleaded guilty before magistrate Jeff Linden to driving without a licence and giving police a false name and address on November 6, 2008, after police overheard two men arguing over stolen property outside Murwillumbah police station.

The court was told by his legal representative that he was not suited to the MERIT program (where magistrates divert drug offenders into effective treatment), but Buttress-Grove had started methadone treatment and was getting off drugs.

For much of the time Buttress-Grove listened with his head resting on his hand, fingers across his face.

In police facts before the court, police saw Buttress-Grove driving in Murwillumbah on December 15 and followed with sirens on and lights flashing when he drove slowly into a park then up an embankment on to Tweed Valley Way.

After losing sight of Buttress-Grove they saw his car, rented from a Murwillumbah businessman, stopped in a driveway, but he had disappeared.

Witnesses told police he ran through their backyards.

Police saw him again in a yellow raincoat and sombrero and gave chase.

As he got over a fence one officer grabbed him by the leg, but he broke free and was not seen again until the next day when police found him in a hospital ward at Murwillumbah Hospital.

Police were told Buttress-Grove went to a house in Quarry Road and got unsuspecting residents to call an ambulance by feigning a heart attack.

The case was adjourned to January 19.

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