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Held at gun-point

Saturday, 27th September, 2014

Three men and a woman faced court yesterday over an incident in which several people were held at gun-point in a shed in Piper Street on Thursday morning.

Three of the alleged perpetrators had come up to the city from Mildura and one of them had pulled a pistol on the victims who included four Broken Hill men and two women, police said.

They alleged that the threat was related to drug dealing and to an incident on Wednesday afternoon in which police were seen searching the streets near the Hilltop Motel.

One of the alleged culprits was a local man.

Police said the victims were held for several hours before one them managed to call someone who then called police who stopped a transit van in Piper Lane with the four alleged culprits inside.

The handgun, described as an old pistol with a 20 centimetre-long barrel, was found by police under a lounge in the shed, they said.

The four were arrested, charged and spent the night in jail before facing the Local Court yesterday when they sought to be released on bail.

All of them were charged with aggravated breaking and entering in company, assault and intimidation, while the woman faced an extra charge of possessing $1052 in cash which police argued was the proceeds of crime.

Court Registrar Regina Setz granted bail to the woman, Chloe Monique Stafford (19) who had no criminal history and ordered her to face court again on Monday via video link from Wentworth court.

Bail was also granted to the local man, Kurtis William Harrison (23), because he had a negligible criminal record and family in the city.

But the alleged gunman, Brett Breaneley (24), and the other man, Ozkan Uygun (20) were denied bail.

This was due, Ms Setz said, to the seriousness of the allegations against them, their previous criminal history, the risk that they might abscond, and for the protection of the witnesses.

Paul Walton, lawyer for each of the accused, had argued that the police case against Breaneley was purely circumstantial.

“The gun was not found in his possession, nor in the car,” Mr Walton said.

“It doesn’t make sense to leave the firearm in the shed with the alleged victims.”

All of the accused will return to court on Monday to face the magistrate.

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