A MAN who brandished a gun at patrons in a pub and fired the weapon out of a moving car near Gunnedah has been jailed for four years.
Phillip Jason Winsor told patrons he was Chopper Reid’s cousin and related to the Kelly gang when he brandished a shotgun in a pub at Mullaley in 2016.
Judge Jeffery McLennan told Tamworth District Court the patrons inside the Post Office Hotel were "unsurprisingly terrified” when Winsor pulled the shortened 0.410 gauge shotgun out on the night of September 22, 2016.
“Shortened shotguns are commonly used by violent offenders in robberies,” Judge McLennan said.
Winsor appeared via video link in court from Long Bay Correctional Centre in Sydney where he is being held.
Shortened shotguns are commonly used by violent offenders in robberies.Judge Jeffery McLennan
Winsor was given varying discounts for his pleas after he admitted to the charges shortly before he was due to stand trial, and assisted police in admissions after the incidents.
Judge McLennan said there was simply no justification for his possession of the firearm, which he pulled from a woodpile on a property on Black Stump Way, where he had previously been staying at.
About 8.30pm, he went to the hotel and asked for a lighter before getting into a verbal altercation. He opened his jacket and grabbed the firearm, but dropped it on the ground and the breach opened.
Winsor then said to a staff member: “You don’t know if you going to call the cops do you big guy?”. The staff member didn’t want to upset Winsor and told him “you’re right”.
“The offender stated that he was related to the Kelly Gang and that his cousin was Chopper Reid,” facts detailed, before he left.
Two men, hiding near a car in the carpark, saw Winsor, before one ran back into the hotel. Winsor later held the gun in a “sideways fashion” and “the offender pointed the firearm towards [the man’s] face”, before telling him, “don’t you run away too”.
The man went inside and the doors and windows of the hotel were locked and the lights turned off.
As the patrons hid inside the offender tapped the firearm on a hotel window a number of times before walking off. He was arrested the next day.
Judge McLennan said Winsor was “irrational and unstable” during the confrontation with patrons in the pub, and in the outside carpark, and it “must have been terrifying for the victim”.
In an interview with investigators, Windsor admitted to being in possession of the shotgun and firing it out of the sunroof while he was a passenger in a Holden Commodore traveling on the Oxley Highway between Gunnedah and Mullaley.
Judge McLennan said there was no evidence the weapon “posed any risk to property” and the evidence for this offence was “completely unknown to authorities prior to his confession".
Winsor was jailed for four years with a non-parole period of two years. After time served, he will be eligible for parole in September.