Gel gun joke had serious consequences
AUNTIE Kylie welcomed the New Year by driving her nephew around as he laughingly fired off pellets from his gel blaster gun at cars and cyclists.
The gel blasts struck a shocked Ipswich cyclist who first thought the sub-machine gun replica was real.
A car was also damaged by the pellets.
The matters went before Ipswich Magistrates Court when the aunty and car driver, Kylie Amanda Prasser, 37, from Leichhardt, pleaded guilty to assault; two counts of going armed to cause fear at Ipswich on January 1; and causing wilful damage.
Prosecutor Senior Constable Carl Spargo said Prasser drove the car with her nephew Angus Kennewell as a passenger.
The court heard Kennewell held a sub-machine gun replica that fired gel pellets.
An electronic charge fires the pellets which break up on impact.
The pair caused fear to a woman motorist named Theresa and to a male cyclist named David, who was struck during incidents just before 5pm on January 1.
Some pellets struck and damaged a car door, with Snr Const Spargo telling the court Kennewell admitted this and had previously been sentenced by a court.
He said the female victim received a fright, with both Prasser and Kennewell laughing as they drove past.
The court heard the female victim followed their car to Leichhardt and called police.
The pellets caused small paint chips to her vehicle.
The cyclist David, 32, told police that as the car approached he was fearful when he saw a gun barrel protruding.
He said a woman was driving and a male shouted out "get out of the way, you dog".
The cyclist felt pain when struck by pellets and began swerving on his bicycle, telling police that he could have fallen off into the path of traffic.
Snr Const Spargo said Kennewell was dealt with by the court on May 28.
Defence lawyer Matthew Fairclough said it was not pre-planned and while Prasser was not the principal offender she allowed it to continue by driving when she should have stopped, or stopped her nephew.
"It was obviously stupid behaviour by both of them. She should have known better," Mr Fairclough said.
Magistrate David Shepherd said the incident with the cyclist "had real potential to cause disaster", even though it was a toy weapon.
It had caused fear, Mr Shepherd telling Prasser she should have known better with it impacting people randomly.
"You were in charge of the situation. Should not have been encouraging the stupidity," he said.
Mr Shepherd ordered the wayward aunty to complete 100 hours of unpaid community work as punishment.
Last month Prasser's nephew Angus Scott Kennewell, 19, was convicted of two counts of going armed to cause fear at West Ipswich on January 1; assault; and doing wilful damage to a car.
Kennewell was put on a 12-month supervised probation order, and ordered to complete 80 hours of unpaid community service work.