Man pleads not guilty to involvement in 'cowardly' shooting

IT WAS an alcohol and drug-fuelled housewarming party that could have left two men dead.

Sunshine Coast real estate agent Brent Dumper, 46, died when he was shot at point-blank range, 160 pellets from a shotgun destroying his internal organs.

A second man, Michael McMillan, managed to push the shotgun away, with pellets from a second shot putting holes through his clothing, grazing his stomach and damaging an air conditioner behind him.

This was Sunday May 30, 2010.

Bevan Carl Forsythe, 39, has admitted he is criminally responsible for Mr Dumper's death, pleading guilty in Brisbane Supreme Court today to manslaughter.

But the Crown would not accept the plea, instead arguing there is a case for murder, to which Forsythe claims he is not guilty.

Mr Dumper and his wife Karyn, from Beerwah, were at Upper Coomera on the Gold Coast to celebrate his daughter Jessie Anderson moving into her Meadowbrook Dve home.

Jessie had moved in with her partner whose second cousin, Forsythe, lived next door.

Crown prosecutor Dan Boyle said Forsythe was invited to the intimate gathering, where all but one person were drinking from about 4.30pm.

He said there were also drugs consumed during the afternoon and evening.

Mr Boyle said witnesses would tell the court Forsythe became increasingly aggressive throughout the party and challenged Mr Dumper to a fight more than once.

He said Forsythe, late in the evening, went to his house next door and returned with a shotgun.

Mr Boyle said Forsythe did not say anything before shooting Mr Dumper.

"He deliberately shot Brent Dumper in the back in an offence that can only be described as cowardly," he said.

"He then turned on Mr McMillan and deliberately shot. It was only the act of Mr McMillan pushing the gun away that prevented what could almost have been certain death."

Defence barrister Callum Cassidy asked jurors to assess whether the witnesses gave "reliable, truthful and accurate evidence about what happened".

He said that night was "an absolute tragedy" and Mr Dumper's family and friends had probably gone over it in their heads dozens of times.

Mr Cassidy said the jury should question whether witness recollections had become "warped and twisted" during this process.

"It was a tragedy that should not have happened. It left a man dead on the grass of his daughter's house," he said.

"He was a man who was a father, a husband and a very good friend of some of the witnesses.

"This comes down to whether or not this was a deliberate shooting.

"Forsythe left immediately after the incident and phoned 000."

When asked who had done the shooting, he said "by me".

The trial continues.

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