Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Stupid Qld. cops think pointing an empty gun at someone is attemped murder

A DISABILITY pensioner who was charged with attempted murder after he pointed an empty gun at a former friend and pulled the trigger, pleaded guilty to the far lesser crime of common assault, today.

Robert John Anforth , 62, spent six months in custody on remand and was to face a trial today of attempting to murder Paul Asher last year.

However, prosecutor Jacob Robson told the Supreme Court in Brisbane, the Crown would no longer proceed with the attempted murder but would present another indictment charging Anforth with common assault.

Attempted murder carries a maximum sentence of life in jail while common assault has a maximum penalty of three years jail.

Mr Robson said after careful anaylsis of the evidence it was apparent the Crown would have difficulty proving Anforth had an intent to kill and it accepted Anforth was trying to scare his victim.

He said the attitude of the victim had also changed and Mr Asher had not wanted the attempted murder trial to go ahead.

After hearing submissions, Justice George Fryberg agreed it was unlikely on the evidence he had seen a reasonable jury would have convicted Anforth of attempted murder.

However, Justice Fryberg said the matter went from police charging Anforth, to magistrates court hearing where Anforth was committed to stand trial on attempted murder, to various reviews where even 10 days ago an attempted murder trial was to go ahead.

Justice Fryberg said it wasn't until Mr Robson was given the brief 10 days ago someone had looked at it and realised the problems with an attempted murder charge.

Anforth pleaded guilty to the common assault on Asher, on July 30 last year.

The court heard Asher had been staying at Anforth's rural property at Minden, west of Ipswich, for about three months but things were strained and Asher was planning to move out.

Asher was loading wood onto a ute at the property when he saw Anforth who pulled a handgun out of his short pointed it at Asher and pulled the trigger. The gun was unloaded at that time.

The court heard Asher took cover and then heard a shot. He started running and heard another shot before fleeing to a nearby shop where he called police.

Mr Robson said the common assault had been the pointing of the unloaded gun at Mr Asher and it was compunded by the actual shots which were not directed at Mr Asher.

Barrister Sea Seaholme, for Anforth, said the Crown always faced problems with proving his client intended to injure Mr Asher and the two later shots had been fired in the air.

Justice Fryberg said it was a serious example of common assault as Anforth had terrorised his victim. But he said after taking into account the time already spent in custody and the guilty plea he would sentence Anforth to a wholly suspended 27 months jail.


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