‘Gangster fantasy land’: Man jailed after gel blaster shooting
AN ice addict who used a gel blaster to fire at a stranger in a drive-by style "prank" during a 40-day crime spree through Cairns has been handed an 18-month jail sentence.
Jake Edward Hesterman, 20, believed he was in a "gangster fantasy land" while high on drugs and was involved in multiple car thefts, fuel drive offs and other stealing offences between April and May this year.
The Cairns Magistrates Court heard in late May he also fired a gel blaster from a moving vehicle at a man in Edge Hill, hitting him in the head twice.
The court heard the man only suffered minor injuries and Hesterman thought he was committing a "prank", but Magistrate Sandra Pearson said the incident would have likely been terrifying to the victim and could potentially have caused a serious eye injury.
"Despite the fact these things are being sold as toys … there needs to be a message sent to the community that this is serious," she said.
"The reality is these guns are being sold without regulation.
"They look real, I've seen them."
Police prosecutor Sgt Lisa Buchanan asked the court to take into account public reaction to such an incident without knowing whether the gun was real.
"When police have to attend these locations and see someone believed to be armed," she said.
The court heard Hesterman, who has a five page criminal history, had an "utterly prejudiced" childhood with both parents being drug addicts, and began using meth himself when he was 15.
Magistrate Pearson said he was "getting older" and realising he needed to get clean.
"It seems to me if you can get your drug addiction under control you can be a decent member of the community," she said.
"If you can get yourself a job you might be able to pull yourself out of this. And the only one you're hurting now is yourself."
Hesterman pleaded guilty to 21 charges and will be eligible for parole on April 30 next year.