A 61-year-old man who was caught on camera firing a rifle during an altercation with neighbours at his property in Bowhill earlier this year, has narrowly avoided a four year jail sentence.
In Adelaide’s District Court on October 12, Judge Gordon Barrett presided over the case of a man who had been charged with aggravated possession of a firearm without a licence, discharging a firearm intending to frighten and refusing to or failing to answer questions about the whereabouts of a firearm.
An alleged road rage incident between the 61-year-old man and his neighbour on February 23, prompted the latter to visit the 61-year-old’s property the following day in an attempt to photograph the car involved in the altercation the day prior.
Upon the neighbours entering his property, the 61-year-old armed himself with a .22 bolt action rifle and fired it into the air, before he dropped it and picked-up a baseball bat and struck the car several times, breaking windows.
Police arrested the man after they viewed the video footage and he was subsequently questioned, where he denied being in possession of any firearm.
During a second interview two days later the man again lied about the whereabouts of the gun. It was also revealed he had forced his son to lie on his behalf.
“Not only did you lie to the police about the whereabouts of the gun and what you had done with it, but you also caused one of your sons to lie to police about the gun,” Judge Barrett said.
“In his statement to the police your son...said that he was more scared of you than he was getting into trouble with police.”
While Judge Barrett gave no particular weight to the suggested mitigating factor of the man’s status as a single parent, he took into account the poor health of the man.
“I bear in mind that you had a heart attack in 2002 and suffer ill health as a result,” he said.
“That may make prison more difficult for you.”
The man narrowly avoided a term of imprisonment of four years after he pled guilty to the offences in the Murray Bridge Magistrates court earlier in the year.
The man was sentenced to a term of imprisonment of two years, 10 months with a non-parole period of one year, six months.
The forfeiture of the gun and the ammunition was ordered, as well as an order which prevented the man from holding or obtaining a firearms licence until further notice.