War vet fires nail gun in dispute

A VIETNAM War veteran's feud with his neighbour escalated when he armed himself with a nail gun and threatened to kill the man.

The 66-year-old man was drunk the night that he drove to the boundary of his and his former friend's rural properties at Moonford, south-west of Gladstone, in 2008, and fired a Ramset nail gun.

His neighbour followed the noise made by the shots to the boundary in his vehicle and hid behind the cattle yards, where he told police he saw the war veteran and his white utility nearby.

He said he believed the man was armed with a real gun, not a nail gun, when he began screaming that he would kill him.

He told police he feared for his life and snuck back to his car and drove away with the headlights off.

After calling police the man and his family fled the property.

The war veteran yesterday pleaded guilty in the District Court in Rockhampton to threatening violence and discharging the nail gun.

Crown prosecutor Julie Marsden said the men were friends up until eight months before the incident, when they had a "falling out".

She said the complainant feared for his life as he knew the man had fought in the Vietnam War and had weapons on his property.

In a victim impact statement tendered by Ms Marsden, the man said he and his family moved away from their Moonford property as a result of the incident.

When police interviewed the defendant, he said he fired the nail gun because he was scared for his life.

The veteran's defence barrister, Tom Polley, said his client had suffered two fractures to his cheekbone when he was assaulted by his neighbour during their "falling out".

Mr Polley said his client suffered from post traumatic stress disorder from the war and tendered a doctor's report which said the trial had a significant effect on the man's fragile mental state.

Judge Grant Britton placed the man on parole for six months and did not record a conviction.



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