STRONG RESPONSE: Multiple police units descended on the Norman Gardens area off Farm St after reports of the shots.
STRONG RESPONSE: Multiple police units descended on the Norman Gardens area off Farm St after reports of the shots. Frazer Pearce

Road rage shooter within 'bare inches' of killing someone

AS a furious Matthew James Dyer fired multiple shots into a North Rockhampton home he came perilously close to killing someone.

The 31-year-old had snapped following a traffic altercation a few minutes before and armed himself with a shortened fire arm before heading to the Norman Gardens address of the person involved in the previous incident.

He subsequently fired multiple rounds at the house.


Today in Rockhampton Magistrate Court Prosecutor Madison Kurtz outlined the facts of the shooting case and said the some of the shots had missed the victim by "bare inches".

Dyer, dressed in his prison greens, appeared via video-link to plead guilty to charges of unlawful possession of a weapon, dangerous conduct with a weapon, and possession of explosives

"It is incredible that the victim was not seriously injured, or potentially even worse - could have been killed," Ms Kurtz said.

The prosecution gave Dyer credit for handing himself in the day after the incident and cooperating fully with police enquiries.

While deliberating the sentence, Magistrate Catherine Benson heard two historic cases from the prosecution and defence of which referenced fundamentally similar offences.

The prosecution presented a case where three shots were fired from one car towards another following an altercation.

Dyer's defence lawyer Rowan King put forward another case where a disgruntled Dominos customer threatened the life on an employee with a firearm, however did not fire the weapon.

Mr King also presented a letter from Dyer's father in hopes to purvey the point that the defendant had his family's support.

Dyer's Father-in-law, ex-partner, and ex-brother-in-law attended his sentencing.

The court also heard a story of a troubled past but also self-rehabilitation for the father of seven.

Mr King described the defendant's "difficult start to life" and told of Dyer's long history of crime, mostly property related offences.

"Effectively he was surrounding himself in people who were involved in a number of things, and his history shows he was engaged in things like stealing and entering of premises," he said.

From 2012 onwards, Mr King cited a "hiatus" in Dyer's criminal history.

Since moving to Central Queensland, he has been able to start getting his life back on track," Mr King said.

"He has gone from a long period of time on Centrelink to working."

Dyer's place of work also told Mr King that the company he was working for would re-employ Dyer upon his release.

Mr King asked the Magistrate to consider the fact Dyer had taken responsibility for his actions by handing himself into police and cooperation in full.

Magistrate Benson said while Dyer had a criminal history, his past "does not reflect a history of violence" but labelled the particular event May's event as "extreme".

"The violence involved on this occasion was extreme," she said.

"You are extremely fortunate, as indeed is the victim, that (death) was not a result."

Dyer was sentenced to three years imprisonment for the charge of dangerous conduct with a weapon, two years for unlawful possession of a weapon, and six months for the possession of explosives to be served concurrently.

The time Dyer had already spent in custody was also considered time served towards the sentences.

Dyer will serve one year in prison and be released on parole on May 20, 2020.