By Cam Lucadou-Wells
A Dandenong man allegedly fired a 12-gauge shotgun during a dispute in which his brother and a neighbour respectively brandished a pitchfork and an axe, a court has heard.
At his bail hearing, Daniel O’Brien, 26, denied he fired the gun despite witnesses reportedly seeing or hearing a discharge about 4.30pm on 12 February.
Police informant Acting Sergeant Nick Buxton said the dispute in the neighbour’s yard in Ronald Street was part of an ongoing feud between the O’Brien brothers and the neighbour.
As the brother and neighbour faced off with weapons, the neighbour’s mother claimed O’Brien said: “I’ll blast your head off” and fired a shot in an unknown direction, Sgt Buxton said.
“Next one is going in your head,” O’Brien then allegedly said.
Before police arrived, O’Brien had driven away and was initially unable to be contacted by phone. He surrendered himself to Dandenong police station five hours later, Sgt Buxton said.
Police told the court they had seized a 12-gauge shotgun, ammunition and O’Brien’s firearm licence from his home.
O’Brien made no comment during his police interview, the court was told.
Defence lawyer Jeisa Javor said O’Brien claimed the incident was “fabricated” and did not occur.
She said the complainant’s mother stated she saw her son armed with a small axe threatening O’Brien’s brother with the words “I’ll kill you”.
Ms Javor said no shotgun cartridge had been recovered from the scene.
Magistrate Gerard Bryant said he was satisfied, prima facie, that O’Brien had discharged the gun but that it was not fired at the victim.
He said the allegations of O’Brien firing the gun as well as making threats to kill were serious.
O’Brien was bailed to a Dandenong address on a $10,000 surety and on condition he did not return home “in any circumstances” nor go within five metres of the neighbour.
It was effectively an “iron curtain” between O’Brien and the complainant’s family, Mr Bryant said.
O’Brien was also required to report three times a week to police, and obey an interim intervention order protecting the complainant.
Mr Bryant revoked O’Brien’s firearms licence and required him to inform police of any other weapons in his possession.
The accused will appear at Dandenong Magistrates’ Court on 14 March.