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Man at centre of manhunt grew up in Children of God cult

2014-12-05 Source:heraldsun.com Author:by Thomas O’Byrne

  Joshua Cannane, 26, was sentenced in the County Court in September. Source: News Limited 

  A FORMER member of the notorious Children of God cult has been jailed after he held a policeman at gunpoint in  , prompting a massive manhunt. 

  Joshua Cannane, 26, pleaded guilty in the Melbourne County Court to two charges including using a firearm to resist arrest after an incident on February 26. 

  Court documents released this month show that Cannane, along with a female co-offender, lost a bag containing drugs and ammunition at Chirnside Park Shopping Centre. 

  The bag was handed in to centre management, who alerted police. 

  Two police officers found Cannane and his female co-offender driving in the shopping centre’s underground car park. 

  When the officers approached the car, Cannane, who was in the passenger seat, told officers “I’m not going back to jail” before drawing a sawn-off shotgun and pointing it at one of the policemen. 

  Cannane told his accomplice to drive and police eventually lost sight of the pair near

  A manhunt followed, involving the police air wing, critical incident response team and special operations group. The pair were eventually found at the woman’s house in Croydon. 

  Judge Liz Gaynor took into account Cannane’s traumatic childhood, in which his family was involved in the Children of God cult. The closed religious community known as the Children of God gained notoriety in the early 1990s when authorities raided two of its properties and removed children amid claims of psychological abuse. 

  A chronic user of cannabis since the age of 14, and later amphetamines, Cannane was suffering from paranoia and believed he would be killed if returned to prison. 

  Cannane was previously in trouble with the law after stabbing a police officer in the head during an incident at Knox Shopping Centre in 2008. 

  Since that arrest, Cannane faced court numerous times for a range of offences including recklessly causing injury, unlawful assault and drug possession. 

  He had been attacked twice in prison and was cut with a samurai sword during his time at a share house while on bail in 2013. 

  Ms Gaynor said the previous attacks had fed Cannane’s paranoia of returning to prison. 

  “It is extremely concerning that you have such a violent history,” she told Cannane. “Ice could not be a worse drug for someone with paranoia.” 

  For the offences committed this year, Cannane was sentenced in September to a two-year jail term, with a 12-month non-parole period. 

  Original Text From:http://www.heraldsun.com.au/leader/east/man-at-centre-of-manhunt-grew-up-in-children-of-god-cult/story-fngnvlxu-1227123425840