A WODONGA man who brandished an imitation Glock pistol near an Albury eatery has no recollection of the incident, a court heard yesterday.
Gavin Leslie Barrett was suffering mental health issues and a short time later was found unconscious in a laneway by a cleaner after early-morning patrons at Sweetheart’s Pizza in Dean Street, Albury, had escaped in fear.
Barrett had his vehicle parked outside the eatery about 12.30am on August 27, the engine was running, doors open and women patrons from the restaurant came out to it.
When Barrett produced the pistol and waved it around, patrons were alarmed and thought it was a real gun.
Some patrons fled towards Olive Street to get a taxi, triple-0 calls were made, some people were collected by friends and others went to the police station.
Police found the pistol in a drink well in the driver’s door and Barrett was found a short time later by a cleaner at the Centro Albury shopping centre.
Barrett, 29, of Birchman Court, pleaded guilty in Albury Local Court yesterday to charges of using an unauthorised prohibited firearm and possessing an unauthorised prohibited firearm.
Magistrate Megan Greenwood said the patrons must have been extremely frightened.
“This in my view is a quite unusual case,” she said.
Solicitor Mark Cronin said the pistol was bought legally in Queensland about 10 years ago.
Mr Cronin tendered medical evidence to show Barrett was in an agitated state with depression before the incident.
“His behaviour is inexplicable. This behaviour is entirely out of character,” Mr Cronin said.
Barrett had earlier gone to premises in East Albury and that was about all he remembered.
Ms Greenwood said a pathology test showed only prescription medication in his blood.
“In my mind, this is not a case for general deterrence,” she said.
Ms Greenwood put Barrett on three-year bonds and imposed fines of $1100 on each charge.
It is a condition Barrett remain in the care of a treating psychiatrist and Ms Greenwood ordered the weapon be forfeited and destroyed.