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As Katter pushes lethal force laws, ex-crim candidate says ‘it could have been me’

A Queensland Katter Party political candidate has revealed he could have been a target of his party’s proposed laws to allow lethal force against home intruders after admitting to his criminal past.

Jun 07, 2024, updated Jun 07, 2024
Robbie Katter, state leader of Katter's Australian Party, could be vital in deciding who becomes the next premier of Queensland. Photo: ABC

Robbie Katter, state leader of Katter's Australian Party, could be vital in deciding who becomes the next premier of Queensland. Photo: ABC

Michael Pugh, the Katter’s Australia Party candidate for the seat of Mundingburra in Townsville, disclosed he was charged with break and enter and stealing in the early 2000s.

“I went on somewhat of a path of poor decisions which, fortunately for me, led to a circuit-breaker moment, and then on to a path of redemption” he told reporters on Thursday.

“I want to be seen as totally transparent.”

Mr Pugh said the party has been aware of the offences since the lead up to his candidacy endorsement last year.

“It was no secret, we always planned to make this information public,” he said.

Queensland party leader Robbie Katter said Mr Pugh has the full support of the Katters behind him.

Mr Pugh’s criminal past has not deterred him from supporting one of the party’s major policy proposals known as Castle Law.

The law would give victims of home invasions the right to use “whatever force necessary” to protect themselves and others within their home against intruders.

“Giving victims the right to defend themselves without fear of prosecution puts the rights of victims before the rights of criminals,” the proposal made by the party’s MP, Nick Dametto, outlined.

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However, Mr Pugh conceded if the policy had been law during the period of his offences he may have been seriously injured.

“I support Castle Law but, to be brutally honest, I’m probably very fortunate that Castle Law wasn’t in at the time or I may not be here today to be a father or to tell you my story,” Mr Pugh said.

Mr Pugh’s disclosure of prior offences follows allegations of corrupt conduct against Townsville mayor Troy Thompson who is accused of misleading voters about his army service.

Mr Thompson has been referred to the Crime and Corruption Commission over claims he served five years in the military.

The mayor has taken a leave of absence while his council moved a no confidence vote to have him removed.

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