Teenager walks free after gun threat

December 15, 2017

A STANHOPE teenager who threatened his parents with a gun after they asked him to move out of home has escaped conviction.

A STANHOPE teenager who threatened his parents with a gun after they asked him to move out of home has escaped conviction.

The 19-year-old walked out of Echuca Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday with a 12-month good behaviour bond after pleading guilty to unlawful assault, criminal damage, breaching an intervention order and unrelated driving matters.

The matter came back before magistrate Bruce Cottrill who deferred sentencing on August 1 to allow the teen to continue attending medical appointments and get his life back on track.

The teen was living with his parents on a rural property near Stanhope on February 1 when the incident took place.

When his parents attempted to speak with him about him moving out, he became enraged and abusive, threatening to shoot anyone who tried to remove him from the property.

After his father said his son would be too scared to use a firearm, the teen ran to a gun safe and forced it open with bolt cutters.

He returned moments later with a single-barrel shotgun and placed it on a table before walking back inside the house.

His mother locked herself in a bedroom and called police, while his father took the gun to Stanhope police station.

Police arrived soon after and questioned the teen, who said he was provoked and took the gun ‘‘to prove a point’’.

‘‘I checked it was unloaded and did it safely,’’ he told officers.

The teen also pleaded guilty to driving while suspended in Kyabram on April 13.

Duty solicitor Majella Foster-Jones said her client was hugely remorseful and had been ostracised and suffered vigilante retribution after his first court appearance was reported in the media.

However, Ms Foster-Jones said he had since mended his relationship with his father, was continuing to see a psychologist and had good prospects for rehabilitation.

Mr Cottrill said he understood the offences were committed when the teen was under significant emotional stress and instability.

‘‘The offences are serious and potentially very dangerous and you’ve paid a significant price for your behaviour,’’ he said.

‘‘I am satisfied you have taken appropriate steps to address your own rehabilitation.

‘‘My view is if you continue your counselling and remain employed and pursue tertiary education, this will be a smudge on your life story.’’

More in Kyabram Free Press
Login Sign Up

Dummy text