Police took right action on Queen St gunman, court told

CONFRONTED with a heavily-tattooed, gun-wielding man - who was frothing at the mouth and puffing out his chest - police demonstrated "professionalism and patience" in not shooting earlier or using more serious force, a court has heard.

Crown prosecutor Belinda Merrin further noted Lee Michael Hillier, who brought a busy mall in the Brisbane CBD to a standstill during a 90-minute siege last March, was given every opportunity to put down the gun and stop his threatening behaviour, even refusing to work with a negotiator.

She said Hillier was a serious danger to community safety as she argued he should be sentenced to eight years in jail with a serious violent offence declaration, meaning he would serve 80% of his sentence.

Ms Merrin said when police told Hillier he was scaring innocent people, he replied "I don't give a f*** about them, I want a cigarette".

"The impact of the defendant's actions was to terrify many people who were going about their everyday lives and he did so in a very heavily populated area of our capital city," she said.

"The city was laid siege to his parade of erratic and aggressive behaviour whilst armed with a firearm."

In a video of CCTV footage stitched together, Hillier, from Caboolture, could be seen pacing around the Queen St mall in a highly agitated state.

He was erratically waving around a semi-automatic pistol, which later turned out to be unloaded, and sometimes wedging the barrel against his neck.

Hillier was visibly shouting, which police and civilian witnesses say was phrases like "shoot me" and "I don't want to live anymore"

Workers and shoppers fled the mall on March 8 as the event unfolded.

Nearby buildings went into lockdown while various services were shutdown.

The stand-off ended when police shot Hillier with lethal and non-lethal rounds.

Hillier had a significant criminal history including violent behaviour and carrying a weapon in public.

Queen St Mall in lock down with gunman Lee Michael Hillier on the loose.
Queen St Mall in lock down with gunman Lee Michael Hillier on the loose. Rae Wilson

About two months before the siege Hillier had blown his own fingers off with a handmade shotgun at Morayfield.

Defence barrister Simon Hamlyn-Harris said his client was in severe distress and suffered serious injuries in the incident.

"Mr Hillier himself says that in relation to that day, he wasn't there to hurt anyone. He said … he just wanted to be dead," he said.

"I hit rock bottom that day," Hillier had said.

Hillier told the court that he was now glad that he was alive for his "three beautiful children" and wanted to take responsibility for his actions.

He said he understood there were innocent families and other people walking around that day but pointed to a drug addiction relapse for his actions.

"Obviously things just spiralled out of control," he said.

Judge Terry Martin said he would sentence Hillier at 10.30am on Friday.

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