A Gympie region man fired a shotgun amid a dispute with neighbours in 2016.
A Gympie region man fired a shotgun amid a dispute with neighbours in 2016. Contributed

Heated neighbourhood dispute ends with a gunshot

A HEATED argument between neighbours soon became much more serious for a Gympie region man who drunkenly fired a shotgun and caused his victim extensive physical and emotional harm.

Jesse Nathan Keen, 22, pleaded guilty during Gympie District Court proceedings on Tuesday to one count of dangerous conduct with a weapon after having a more serious charge described as threatening violence discontinued by the crown prosecutor.

Keen, aged 19 when he fired the gun in the vicinity of his victim in March 2016 at Woolooga, pleaded not guilty to the initial charge and was later discharged of that offence.

The court heard there were "ongoing issues" between Keen's family and their neighbours for a long time before the incident, specifically relating to noise complaints.

The complainant and her family had been out and returned to their residence "in the early hours" on the day of the incident, hearing loud music coming from across the road at Keen's family's house.

After calling the police, the complainant entered the Keen family's property "in an agitated state" and proceeded to argue predominantly with Keen's father.

The court heard Keen then retrieved the shotgun from a nearby car, reportedly waved it in the direction of the complainant before firing it in the air.

In making his sentencing remarks, Judge Glen Cash said Keen had not deliberately pointed the gun at the complainant.

He told Keen his actions had been "stupid and dangerous".

"This is precisely the sort of circumstance where someone drunk with a gun does something stupid, a person ends up dead, and instead of you sitting in the dock and we're talking about a fine you're in the dock and we're talking about whether it's eight or nine years in jail," Judge Cash said.

Judge Cash told Keen he would be "without a gun licence for some time" and would need to "grow up" if he wanted one in the future.

He fined Keen $2500, to be paid in full before District Court sittings on July 15. He did not record a conviction.