Police tape marks where a bullet struck the wall of a house in Through St, South Grafton early on the morning of on October 4, 2016.
Police tape marks where a bullet struck the wall of a house in Through St, South Grafton early on the morning of on October 4, 2016. Tim Howard

"These c***s need to be taught a lesson"

A JURY has found a South Grafton man guilty of a shooting incident in 2016 when he fired a gun at a South Grafton home in an act of intimidation.

Jason Michael Stewart, 25, had pleaded not guilty to discharging a firearm at a dwelling with reckless disregard for the safety of another person and using a weapon to commit an indictable offence.

During the trial in Grafton District Court, witnesses testified that at about 5.30am on October 4, 2016 they heard a knocking on their property door. They went outside and found Stewart calling out to see another man who lived at the property

Although Stewart was wearing a full-length body suit, the witnesses were able to recognise Stewart's voice, and they saw him carrying a firearm with a long barrel.

Stewart continued to call out for the man to come outside and a number of witnesses who lived at the property yelled at Stewart to leave.

Instead, Stewart pointed the firearm at one of the residents and fired. The bullet missed the person and hit the wall of the unit next to the side door.

One of the residents attempted to get the gun from Stewart, who pulled the gun away and jumped the property's fence and escaped.

Police were called at 5.57am by a neighbour, and when they arrived the witnesses initially denied anything had happened.

They later told investigators Stewart had arrived at their property with a gun, but they expressed fear of reprisal.

A crime scene was established, and forensic investigators noted a hole in the wall on the side of the unit consistent with a rifle shot.

Later that day police raided a house in Cowan St, South Grafton, where they found Stewart and a 42-year-old woman, who was later released.

Stewart denied knowing anything about the shooting and said he had travelled towards Macksville with a man before the car they were in broke down, and didn't return to Grafton until 3am on October 4.

Further police investigations found deleted CCTV footage from the Cowan St address showing a person resembling Stewart holding a rifle and concealing their face.

On May 13, 2017 the woman was charged for concealing information over an indictable offence, and on August 8 Stewart was discharged at committal for the charges.

However on September 9, 2017 Stewart was alleged to have committed further offences against the woman, who gave further evidence on the matter.

According to police facts heard in court, the resident at the property Stewart was looking for had allegedly threatened and robbed the woman's son and Stewart said "these c---s need to be taught a lesson", police were told.

In Grafton District Court last week, Stewart was found guilty on the two indictable charges. He will be sentenced in October.



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