'I could strangle or shoot you'

Generic hunting rifle.
Generic hunting rifle.

A COURTROOM in Albury was cleared yesterday for the appearance of Andre Star, alleged to have fired a gun at a shooting companion on Friday after an argument.

Magistrate Tony Murray told the public to leave after he was advised Star, 39, of Bungil, near Granya, could be a security risk and may be violent.

Four police and two Corrective Services officers accompanied the solidly built Star, who was handcuffed, into court for a brief appearance.

Victoria Police sought Star’s extradition, which Mr Murray granted.

Facts tendered outlined how the victim had feared for his life near Bungil as he ran from Star and heard bullets whizzing past him.

The victim told police he hid out until Saturday afternoon before seeking help from a property owner who drove him to the Bethanga police station to report the incident.

Mr Murray remanded Star into the custody of Detective Sen-Constable Andrew Leonard, from Wodonga, and he will appear in Wodonga Magistrates Court today on a robbery charge.

An arrest warrant for Star was issued at Melbourne Magistrates Court at the weekend after police were told about what took place.

He was arrested by NSW and Victorian police at a farm near Gerogery after turning up there naked about 3.30pm on Sunday afternoon.

The circumstances of the victim’s harrowing experience were outlined to Mr Murray in tendered facts.

The victim lives near Culcairn and took his .243 and .22 rifles to Star’s property at Bungil on Friday afternoon to shoot foxes.

Star had been smoking ice with another man when he arrived.

While they were out shooting, the victim was told by Star that he wanted to shoot a couple of cows for meat.

His companion refused, saying they belonged to other people and he wanted no part of killing the animals.

Both men got out of the car and argued.

Star produced a large knife demanding his companion hand over his guns, it was alleged.

Star pointed the knife directly at the victim’s chin, it was claimed.

“Do what I say. I could strangle you to death with my bare hands or I could shoot you with your own gun,” Star allegedly said.

The victim handed over the .243 rifle and Star told him to strip.

But the victim refused, threw his hat on the ground, ran off and heard bullets zinging past him.

He feared for his life and hid in the bush as Star searched for him unsuccessfully with a spotlight and dog.

The victim followed the Koetong Creek until he sought help from someone on a property.

An ambulance attended the Gerogery property after Star was arrested on Sunday.

He was taken to the Albury hospital for assessment.

He refused to co-operate with mental health team members, but was reviewed by medical staff and found to be stable.