Bulli teen remanded in custody charged with Berkeley shooting

Christopher West. Source: Facebook
Christopher West. Source: Facebook

A Bulli man accused of shooting a gun outside a Berkeley house on Monday afternoon committed the crime in retaliation for a break-in at his father’s house just hours earlier.

Police claim Christopher West, 19, and a male accomplice pulled up outside the Northcliffe Drive house in a stolen Toyota Rav 4 around 3.45pm and confronted a group of people standing on the front lawn.

West allegedly yelled at a female at the house and blamed her for the break-in.

Moments later, he allegedly grabbed a shotgun from the front passenger foot well of the vehicle and began turning in the direction of the group.

The gun went off and the bullet hit the front passenger door of the car, police said.

No one was injured, however West and his accomplice allegedly fled the scene in the Rav 4.

Police said members of the group immediately contacted triple zero, allegedly identifying West and his co-accused as the perpetrators.

Court documents said footage of the incident was recorded on a mobile phone, which was later handed to police.

West was arrested on Wednesday morning and charged with firearm and intimidation offences, the most serious of which carries a maximum penalty of 25 years in jail.

The court heard West confessed to his involvement in the shooting during a subsequent interview with police.

In a bail application in court on Thursday, defence solicitor Stewart Holt said West would agree to abide by strict conditions “akin to house arrest” if he was released.

“He’s 19, he’s never been in adult jail before and these matters will take a long time to get to trial,” Mr Holt said, adding his client suffered from anxiety and depression.

Prosecutors opposed West’s release application, noting the seriousness of the allegations, the likelihood of jail sentence if convicted and the need to protect the alleged victim and the community.

Magistrate Michael Stoddart agreed and refused to grant bail.

“What concerns me is the overall seriousness of these matters,” he said.

“They involve the use of a firearm where it was discharged.

“It appears to me to be a strong prosecution case and the charge carries 25 years in jail.”

West will remain behind bars until at least his next court appearance in June.

Meantime, police will allege West’s co-accused remains on the run and was responsible for torching the Rav 4, which was found in bushland at Berkeley on Wednesday afternoon.

“It is believed he [the co-accused] destroyed the vehicle after being notified of the accused [West] being arrested,” court documents said.

On Thursday evening police also revealed they had found a gun at the scene of the car fire.

It was seized for forensic examination.