Diners duck for cover as man takes aim with gel blaster
DINERS took shelter under tables at Bakehouse Steakhouse when a man began firing off a Gel Blaster from a hotel balcony, with the gel pellets splattering around the venue.
The diners and pedestrians were across from the Oaks Aspire Hotel in Ipswich when Liam Anthony Ding, 21, from One Mile, fired gel pellets from the toy gun.
Ipswich Magistrates Court heard Ding was removed by police from the hotel.
A magistrate called his behaviour stupid and childish.
Ding pleaded guilty to 10 offences that include two counts of doing wilful damage; causing public nuisance on Wednesday, September 4; two counts of unlawful possession of weapons - knuckledusters and a knife; possession of counterfeit money - $400; two counts of driving when disqualified on September 3 and 4; and two counts of driving an unregistered motor vehicle.
Prosecutor Senior Constable Dave Shelton said Ding was on the hotel balcony with the gel blaster and was seen by the hotel manager.
When police searched Ding's hotel room two category M weapons, a knuckleduster and a knife were found along with the Gel Blaster and eight counterfeit $50 notes.
Sen-Constable Shelton said Ding went back the next day to try and get his money back, became angry when this was refused and kicked a door, damaging it.
Police sought a six-month jail sentence with immediate parole.
Defence lawyer Matthew Fairclough said Ding was diagnosed with ADHD and been using cannabis to self-medicate although this was not an excuse for his offending.
Mr Fairclough sought an unpaid community service work order for Ding.
Magistrate Virginia Sturgess said Ding's driving offences were stupid and brought a two-year disqualification and a $1200 fine.
Ms Sturgess said he was on the balcony firing gel into the rear courtyard of the Steakhouse business, and its floor was covered in pellets which had to be cleaned.
"Your behaviour was very stupid and childish," she said.
"And selfish as well for people running a restaurant.
"(It is) not acceptable to take it out on other people and ruin another person's day, affecting patrons having a peaceful meal."
Ding was convicted and ordered to complete 100 hours of unpaid community service. He was also fined $400 for the Commonwealth offence of having counterfeit money.