Andre Star held for mental assessment

THE man accused of firing a gun at a shooting companion last Friday has been taken to Melbourne for assessment.

Andre Star, 39, of Bungil, near Granya, did not appear in Wodonga Magistrates Court yesterday for a mention of a robbery charge against him.

Barrister Sally Wilson told magistrate John O’Callaghan that it was evident Star had mental health issues.

“I have spoken to him this morning and tried to explain what is happening,” Ms Wilson said.

But she said she was unable to say whether Star had understood her.

Police prosecutor Sen-Constable Wayne Taylor said mental health workers from Wodonga had seen Star on Monday night.

He said police wanted an adjournment until October 16 for a committal mention.

The police hand-up brief of evidence will be served on Star by September 5.

Sen-Constable Taylor tendered a copy of the remand summary of the allegations against Star and said he was withdrawing from a drug of addiction.

Officers from Melbourne arrived in Wodonga early yesterday to take Star to the assessment prison.

He was extradited on Monday after appearing before magistrate Tony Murray, in Albury Local Court.

Star was arrested by NSW and Victorian police after arriving naked at a property near Gerogery about 3.30pm on Sunday.

Mr Murray was told in tendered facts that Star had been smoking ice before he had gone fox shooting at Bungil on Friday.

His shooting companion said he had feared for his life as he escaped from Star after an argument. Star had produced a knife, demanded he hand over his guns and told him to strip naked.

Shots were fired at him as he fled.

The victim had managed to hide in bush as Star searched for him, using a spotlight and a dog.

He hid out on Friday night and followed the Koetong Creek until he found someone at a property on Saturday afternoon. He was taken to the Bethanga police station.

An arrest warrant for Star was issued at Melbourne Magistrates Court at the weekend after police became aware of the circumstances and made an application for it.

Star was taken from Gerogery by ambulance to the Albury hospital. He had refused to co-operate with mental health team members.

But he was reviewed by medical staff and was found to be stable.