Speargun teen lost control, court told

A South Coast teen had lost "all semblance of self-control" when he fired a loaded speargun into a man's home, a court heard yesterday.

Samuel Moore was "fired up" and angry when he armed himself with the speargun and fired it through a broken window, missing the victim by less than a metre.

Moore was ordered to serve a minimum 15 months' behind bars for the offence but appealed the term, claiming it was too severe.

Shaving six months off the 19-year-old's sentence yesterday, Judge Paul Conlon said the matter was serious but needed to be balanced against Moore's subjective circumstances.

Just prior to the offence, Moore had discovered his uncle and another man were in hospital, having sustained injuries during an alleged altercation with the victim, Wollongong District Court was told.

Judge Conlon said Moore had merely reacted to news of the assault when he armed himself with the speargun, conceding emotions were running high and he had simply lost control.

Moore, who pleaded guilty to affray and firing a speargun into a building, decided to confront the victim, driving to the man's home with his heavily pregnant mother and aunty.

Arming himself with the weapon, Moore approached the man's front door and started calling for him to come outside.

Moore continued hurling abuse while he walked over to a broken window, raised the loaded speargun and fired it into the home.

The spear lodged in a wall about one metre from where the victim was standing, the court heard.

Judge Conlon said Moore had no prior convictions, had never been violent and had been taking medication for schizophrenia.

Giving evidence, Moore told the court he felt bad about what he had done and apologised for his actions.

He conceded he had been angry about what had happened to his uncle when he grabbed the speargun from the back of his mother's car.

Judge Conlon ordered Moore serve nine months behind bars and an additional 18 months on parole.

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