Shot fired as mates' falling out 'escalates'
THE "instigator" behind a terrifying late night confrontation, that saw a rifle pointed at and then fired in the air above an innocent father, has been jailed.
Jesse Kain Sharpe, 22, pleaded guilty to the charge of threatening violence at night after he and five friends disguised themselves with balaclavas and bandannas and drove to a rural Gin Gin property in the early hours of August 1 last year.
Appearing in the Bundaberg District Court, Sharpe also pleaded guilty to five summary offences including public nuisance, stealing, wilful damage and common assault.
The court heard the later two charges were precursors to the August 1 incident and stemmed from a fallout between Sharpe, his girlfriend and their former housemate.
The former housemate's boyfriend, Dalton Miles, and Sharpe had been good friends but their relationship soured and it was Mr Miles father, Richard Miles, who became the victim when the former friends' falling out escalated.
The court heard Sharpe and Mr Miles had traded insults and threats and on the night in question. Sharpe decided to challenge his former mate to a fight.
Crown prosecutor Katrina Overell said Sharpe visited the Miles' home on three occasions, making "threats to kill" and yelling out he was "coming back".
On the second occasion Sharpe drove a car into the Miles' front gate, and told Richard Miles to "bring Dalton out" but he refused, the court heard.
On the third occasion, about 1.30am, things took a frightening turn when Sharpe returned with his "gang" of five mates, one of whom had a 0.22 calibre rifle with a scope.
Ms Overell said while it was not Sharpe who owned or handled the weapon, he was the "instigator".
"Don't you think this is a fake rifle," Sharpe's gun-wielding associate said as he pointed at the victim, the court heard.
"I'm going to blow you away."
The court heard the rifle was then aimed in the air and fired above the victim, who had suffered anxiety, stress and nightmares ever since .
Defence lawyer Claire Boothman told the court Sharpe and Mr Miles were "two young men very angry with each other".
She said her client had lost his mother at a young age and left home at 14 when he fell out with his father.
The court heard Sharpe, a father of one, was intoxicated when he drunkenly decided to challenge Mr Miles to a fight but admitted "things escalated very quickly".
Ms Boothman said Sharpe wasn't initially aware his associate had a gun and it's presentation wasn't premeditated.
In sentencing Sharpe, Judge Tony Moynihan said it would have been a 'terrifying experience" for the victim and his family.
Sharpe was slapped with an18 month jail term - to serve six months - before being released on parole.
Having already spent 154 days in pre-sentence custody, Sharpe will be released on March 25 this year.