Scared teen thought stepdad was trying to shoot him
A TEEN mistakenly believed his stepfather was pointing a gun at him when the pair was involved in an early morning confrontation on a dark stretch of road.
Terrified at what he saw, the teenager ran off to hide, but an Ipswich court this week heard the object was actually just a PVC pipe.
When police were called to the scene, however, they searched the stepfather’s house and found illegal guns and ammunition including a bolt-action rifle, silencer, and a taser.
The stepfather, who cannot be named, appeared before Ipswich Magistrates Court, where he was sentenced for domestic violence and weapons offences.
The 47-year-old pleaded guilty to three charges of being in unlawful possession of weapons in October 2019 at Eastern Heights; unlawful possession of a category D/H/R weapon; not having authority to possess .22 calibre ammunition; possession of a knife in public; contravening a domestic protection order; and breach of a probation order.
A charge of dangerous conduct with a weapon on October 13 was withdrawn and dismissed.
Prosecutor Sergeant Rose Molinaro tended photos of the weapons and the man’s four page criminal history from NSW and Queensland.
He had spent over nine months held in custody before sentence.
“It was a very serious matter,” Sgt Molinaro said.
“The 19-year-old stepson was under the impression a firearm was produced at the time. But it is accepted the stepfather had PVC piping at the time.
“It put a lot of fear in him and is completely unacceptable.”
Defence lawyer Bradley Munt said when the man’s son came home late that night alleging he’d been assaulted by the brother in a dispute at a hotel.
The defendant and his friend drove out to locate him, and found him walking along a road with mates.
Mr Munt said the man had a PVC pipe and the noise heard had been the sound of it being struck against the side of the ute.
“He did not have a gun that night. He did not fire it,” Mr Munt said.
Magistrate Virginia Sturgess gave more detail on the police facts before the open court, saying it was very serious in the circumstances that police found a large amount of unlawful firearms the following day.
She said the incident occurred around 3.45am and when he saw the teenager he was seen to reach into the tray of a ute and then brace himself on its roof with what the teenager believed was a gun.
“He ran away and hid behind a power pole. The noise he believed was a shot by you. In fact no shots were fired,” Ms Sturgess said.
The offences breached a 12-month probation order imposed for drug-positive driving offences involving methylamphetamine and cannabis; and contravened the domestic protection order.
“He was genuinely in fear that you were armed with a firearm in the early hours of the morning,” she said.
He was sentenced to nine months jail with an additional four months for the breach of a suspended sentence.
With the time already spent in jail since October 14 the man received immediate parole on the 13-month sentence.
He was also resentenced over the previous offences and fined $1000 for driving when drug positive.