Court told of dispute over free range pigs
A NEIGHBOURHOOD feud over free range pigs took a dramatic turn when an unsecured gun was misused earlier this month.
Glastonbury Creek grazier Gary Arthur Alford, 58, pleaded guilty in Gympie Magistrates Court on Monday to failing to store his .22 rifle correctly.
Police prosecutor Lisa Manns told the court the rifle had been left unattended in an open-sided shed.
Alford told police on August 18 he had used the gun the previous day to slaughter a beast and had neglected to lock it away properly.
"As a result it was used in another matter by his son," Sgt Manns said.
That other matter, the court was told last week, involved an allegedly threatening visit by Alford's son to a neighbour whose free range pig farm had been the subject of dispute with other property owners in the area.
Alford's legal representative told the court his client had used the gun to slaughter a beast on his property and had become pre-occupied with the "lengthy process" of skinning it. The firearm had mistakenly been left on a bench in the shed.
Alford's son, IzaacLee Alford, faced court last week, accused of taking the gun and using it to threaten the neighbour over claims the pigs were getting out and damaging pasture and crops in the area.
Sgt Manns said the neighbour who operated the free range pig business had called police to complain about what he described as a threatening visit by Izaac Alford, in which a gun was produced.
Police had found a weapon exactly matching its description when they attended Gary Alford's property in Little Rd.
Izaac Alford, 22, faced the court on charges of serious assault on a person over 60, threatening violence, unlawful possession of a weapon and breaching a court order. He was remanded to appear again on October 12.
Magistrate M. Baldwin noted Gary Alford's lack of previous criminal history and said: "I've no doubt you're already under a lot of stress," she said.
She placed him on an $800 good behaviour bond for four months. "That's a fairly high amount, but it reflects the seriousness of the charge," she said.