GUILTY: Kenneth Robert Douglas at court last Thursday.
GUILTY: Kenneth Robert Douglas at court last Thursday. Mike Richards GLA070618CORT

Jury reaches verdict in Diglum gunshots trial

To read our full coverage of the trial, click here and follow the links at the bottom of each day's coverage.

A JURY has found Kenneth Robert Douglas guilty of dangerous conduct with a weapon after almost six hours of deliberation at Gladstone District Court this afternoon.

The jury also acquitted Douglas of a wilful damage charge.

Douglas became emotional in the dock as the guilty verdict was read out shortly before 6pm, telling the court "I honestly didn't do anything".

The jury found Douglas had possessed and used a weapon in such a way as to cause alarm to Amanda Loader on the night of August 12, 2016, at her father's Diglum cattle property.

Douglas denied the charge, along with the Crown's allegation he had fired a rifle shot through a caravan window, of which he was found not guilty.

Douglas's son Jesse, who is awaiting sentencing for burning down the Loaders' farmhouse during the incident, yesterday testified only he had held a rifle on the property that night.

He later denied prosecutor Matt Le Grand's suggestion he was lying to protect his father.

 

ARSON: A photo taken on a phone of the Loaders' farmhouse as it burned that night.
ARSON: A photo taken on a phone of the Loaders' farmhouse as it burned that night. Contributed

The jury first retired at 11.55am, after receiving detailed instructions from Judge Craig Chowdhury as to the evidence they could rely on to arrive at a verdict.

Judge Chowdhury told them that as the Crown had built a circumstantial case for Douglas's guilt when it came to the charge of damaging the caravan, they had to be satisfied the only rational inference from the evidence was that Kenneth Douglas had fired the shot.

The jury returned to the courtroom twice during their deliberations to ask further questions of the court.

On the first occasion they wanted to know if they were able to return a guilty verdict if they found Douglas had aimed a rifle at Ms Loader, causing her alarm, but had not fired it.

 

WRAPPING UP: Kenneth Robert Douglas (centre) leaves Gladstone District Court on Tuesday as a family member (above) tries to block media from taking photos.
WRAPPING UP: Kenneth Robert Douglas (centre) leaves Gladstone District Court on Tuesday as a family member (above) tries to block media from taking photos. Matt Taylor GLA120618COURT

After consulting with the prosecution and defence, Judge Chowdhury told the jury the finding would be contrary to the wording used in the Crown's case, but they could nevertheless return a guilty verdict if they found the defendant had engaged in other conduct that made him guilty of an offence.

On the second occasion late in the afternoon, the jury asked for various sections of Amanda Loader and her partner's testimony relating to the descriptions of Douglas and his two sons to be re-read.

Douglas was granted bail and will be sentenced along with his two sons on Friday.

Click here for The Observer's coverage of the sentencing.

To read The Observer's full coverage of the trial, click here and follow the links at the bottom of each day's coverage.



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