West Albury gun man’s appeal dismissed

BRETT Walker maintains his innocence about brandishing a rifle and threatening a nearby West Albury resident earlier this year.

But a magistrate rejected his claim after a defended hearing in June and yesterday a District Court judge said Walker has lied consistently about the gun.

Judge Blackmore said magistrate Megan Greenwood accepted it was a circumstantial case against Walker, who claimed initially when interviewed by police there was no gun and later admitted cutting it up.

“In my view, the lie was about a significant matter in the case,” Judge Blackmore said when dismissing the appeal.

Earlier Walker said from the dock: “I don’t even know what I have lied about.”

“Really?” was the response from Judge Blackmore.

Walker, 29, of Banksia Street, pleaded not guilty to charges of possessing an unregistered firearm in a public place, assault and intimidation.

A hearing was held in June and Ms Greenwood convicted Walker on what she accepted was circumstantial evidence.

Walker was given a two-year jail term with a minimum of 12 months, but lodged an appeal against his conviction.

Ms Greenwood in a comprehensive judgement outlined the circumstances leading up to charges being laid against Walker.

Police arrested him and his brother in the early hours of January 16 in West Albury.

Earlier Walker had pointed a rifle at a man, 18, during a confrontation with neighbours.

The victim’s father also saw the gun and Walker left the area before police were alerted.

A siege situation developed when police surrounded the house where Walker and his brother lived.

There were negotiations and the brothers surrendered with Walker claiming someone else who looked like him had a gun.

Walker denied having a gun in a police interview or using an angle grinder.

But he later conceded: “I cut it up, but that was it.”

Police found pieces of a rifle which had been cut up and Walker’s fingerprint was on a scope.

The rifle barrel was found inside a vacuum cleaner pipe.

Ms Greenwood said when handing down her finding she found it difficult to believe anything Walker said.

Walker’s minimum term does not expire until April 15 next year.