Gunshot fired after insult is posted on Facebook

10th October 2017 5:00 AM
UPDATED 10:23 AM

COMMENTS on Facebook led four lads clad in balaclavas and armed with a rifle to drop around to a man's house after midnight and call out for his son to come out and fight.

"Don't think it isn't a real gun mother******," one man yelled as the gun was pushed into the father's face.

The man pushed the gun away and it fired, Bundaberg Magistrates Court was told yesterday.

Police prosecutor Acting Sergeant Andrew Blunt said Beau Brady-Lawrence was among the group who drove to the Gin Gin home of Richard Miles about 12.30am on Tuesday, August 1.

Brady-Lawrence, 22, pleaded guilty to threatening violence by discharging a loaded firearm with intent to cause fear to Mr Miles.

Sgt Blunt said the four wore balaclavas and bandanas and yelled and swore for Mr Miles's adult son to come out.

He said the words used were to encourage the son to leave the house and fight the group.

His father told him to stay inside.

One of the four produced a firearm, described to police as a black .22 rifle.

 

Beau Brady-Lawrence outside court.
Beau Brady-Lawrence outside court. Ross Irby

 

The comment about it being a real gun was made while the gun was pointed in Mr Miles's face.

Sgt Blunt said Mr Miles pushed it away and the gunman pulled the trigger and it discharged - the bullet flying past Mr Miles.

"It caused him fear. (Mr Miles) believed his life was in danger," Sgt Blunt said.

Police were called to the scene and charges later laid.

"He (a co-accused) says a person, Andy, had the gun and took the gun to the address," Sgt Blunt said.

"He (Brady-Lawrence) knew he was bringing the gun but did not think Andy would fire off a shot.

"He says he was only going to see a fight. He says Andy had the gun on his lap in the car."

Sgt Blunt said the incident occurred after a social media message on Facebook.

Defence lawyer Mat Maloy said Brady-Lawrence was an avocado picker, a father of three and went to the house with his friends.

"He instructs he was going to watch a fist fight. He gets into the car and sees he (another male) has a gun," Mr Maloy said.

"He was intoxicated at the time which is no excuse for his behaviour. He knows he shouldn't have been there in the first place.

"And it was something he should have extricated himself from when he saw the firearm."

Mr Maloy said Brady-Lawrence had issues with alcohol and marijuana and been a user since he was 13. Mr Maloy sought a probation order to allow his client to get rehabilitation assistance.

Magistrate Belinda Merrin said the sentence needed to reflect the seriousness of the offence and Brady-Lawrence had a previous similar conviction.

Ms Merrin found that the group wearing balaclavas and bandanas went to the home after a comment was made on Facebook.

"Andy discharged the firearm to cause the victim to fear he would be injured," the magistrate said.

Ms Merrin said while Brady-Lawrence was not the principal offender, there had been common purpose in his participation and it had been very fortunate no one was injured.

She said that three years ago Brady-Lawrence was convicted and received jail terms for going armed to cause fear with knives, and also for dangerous operation of a car.

Ms Merrin sentenced Brady-Lawrence to four months' jail, immediately suspended for 12 months.