LIFE-LONG MATE LEFT TO DIE

Group flee wreck af­ter shoot­ing

The Observer - - FRONT PAGE - SARAH BARNHAM sarah.barnham@glad­sto­neob­server.com.au

A GROUP of men fled a car crash as the driver lay “life­less” be­hind the wheel, bleed­ing from a gun­shot wound to his neck.

Glad­stone man Do­minic Ju­lian Smith was one of the men who fled the Hilux at an in­ter­sec­tion at Mo­ray­field, leav­ing wit­nesses to call 000 for the driver, 22-year-old Nick­o­las Robert­son.

The Nam­bour fa­ther-of-two died later in hos­pi­tal.

Smith pleaded guilty in Glad­stone Mag­is­trates Court yes­ter­day to sev­eral charges in­clud­ing one count of the dan­ger­ous con­duct of a weapon, dis­charg­ing a weapon in a pub­lic place, pos­ses­sion of a weapon un­der the in­flu­ence of drugs and steal­ing.

The court was told al­though the 23-year-old was in pos­ses­sion of a gun in the back seat of the Hilux on July 1 about 5.10am he was not the killer of his “life-long friend”.

Po­lice pros­e­cu­tor Joel Sleep said the Hilux had been stolen on June 17.

He told the court it was used by the four men who had been trav­el­ling from Beer­wah to pur­chase metham­phetamine.

Smith was with friends and un­der the in­flu­ence of meth when he used a gun to shoot a Hilux win­dow and at street signs while trav­el­ling through a semi-ru­ral area.

An­other pas­sen­ger in the back seat was in pos­ses­sion of a sawn-off ri­fle, used to shoot out the win­dow of the Hilux.

The court heard that while han­dling the ri­fle, this other man fired the bul­let that struck Mr Robert­son in his neck.

Mr Robert­son col­lapsed be­hind the wheel, caus­ing the Hilux to crash at an in­ter­sec­tion.

Wit­nesses told po­lice three men fled east and one fled north on foot.

Emer­gency ser­vices were called and paramedics treated Mr Robert­son at the scene.

He died from his in­juries in the in­ten­sive care unit at the Royal Bris­bane Hos­pi­tal on July 7.

The court heard the bul­let trav­elled through the left­hand side of the man’s neck, spinal cord and mouth.

Wit­nesses who ran over to the Hilux de­scribed him as “life­less”.

Smith’s fin­ger­prints turned up in the foren­sic ev­i­dence re­sults and po­lice vis­ited his Kin Kora home on Septem­ber 29.

When po­lice ar­rived he tried to run away but was stopped in his back­yard.

The court heard Smith was highly co­op­er­a­tive with po­lice and with­out his ad­mis­sions dur­ing the in­ter­view it was likely he would not have been charged for the of­fences.

De­fence lawyer Jun Pepito said his client had a life-long friend­ship with Mr Robert­son whose death greatly im­pacted Smith.

He said Smith was on drugs the day of the shoot­ing and had is­sues with meth.

At the time of of­fend­ing Smith was on pa­role for an ar­son charge com­mit­ted on the Sun­shine Coast for which he was sen­tenced at Ma­roochy­dore Dis­trict Court in Oc­to­ber, 2017.

Mag­is­trate Den­nis Kin­sella sen­tenced Smith to serve 12 months im­pris­on­ment, to serve two months be­hind bars. He will be el­i­gi­ble for pa­role Jan­uary 9.

Photo: Con­tributed

FLED: Do­minic Ju­lian Smith pleaded guilty in Glad­stone Mag­is­trates Court.

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