'Racist' ghost hunter abused Virgin staff
A QUEENSLAND ghost hunter who has been convicted of abusing people over the phone more than 30 times, intimidated and racially abused Virgin Australia call centre in two countries.
In 2010 Kade Jones was banned from flying on Virgin Australia flights after he abused staff members on the phone. Seven years later Jones asked the airline to reconsider that ban, but Virgin refused.
In 2017 a Virgin Australia call centre worker in Brisbane had a call transferred to her from the airline's Philippines help desk.
The Brisbane staff member was told the caller was refusing to give his name, being abusive and belligerent.
The caller, Kade Jones, told the Brisbane operator he did not believe she was Australian and threatened to have her arrested.
Jones, 49, called her a "disgusting Filipino" and said police and media were listening in on the call.
He said he had been abused and would be getting Queensland Police and Australian Federal Police to lay charges against the call centre worker.
The worker later told police she felt threatened and belittled and was worried that she was going to be arrested or fired.
The worker then transferred the call to her team leader. Jones then began to abuse her. He again threatened legal action and arrest.
Jones has operated as a "paranormal investigator" and toured "haunted houses" across Queensland. This included sites in Brisbane, Ipswich, Warwick, the Sunshine Coast, the Fraser Coast, Gympie and Mackay.
In Brisbane District Court on Wednesday, Jones pleaded guilty to using a carriage service to menace or harass.
The court heard Jones, who formerly lived in Mackay but now lives in Brisbane, has been previously convicted of 30 counts of using a communication service to abuse or harass people.
The most recent convictions were just 13 months before he abused the Virgin staff.
Jones's lawyer Rob Glenday said prison would be "extremely burdensome" for his client because of his significant health concerns.
Jones is undergoing treatment for "complex obesity" in two Brisbane hospitals. He is wheelchair-bound because of back problems from playing rugby.
Judge Vicki Loury said Jones's actions were "abusive, threatening and racist".
She said Jones's actions had terrified his victims.
"(The Brisbane call centre worker) felt scared, intimidated, belittled and degraded by you and your conduct," she said.
He was sentenced to 12 months' prison but released on a $2000 good behaviour bond that will run until 2024.