An Illawarra man jailed by a magistrate for throwing a lit molotov cocktail on the driveway of his then-girlfriend’s house before firing a gun into the air has been released on bail in the lead-up to his appeal.
Kile Wiggins had denied he was the man responsible for the alarming series of events outside the Fairy Meadow house on the morning of May 21 last year, which had been preempted by a heated argument between the now-former lovers the night before about infidelity.
During a two-day hearing at Wollongong Local Court, Acting Magistrate Darryl Pearce heard evidence from an eye-witness who described seeing a man throw a container towards the house from across the road.
She said the projectile landed in the gutter outside the house and exploded on impact, right near where she had been walking. She confronted the man, believing she had been the target, however he retreated into a red Holden Commodore and kept staring at the house and saying the word “bitch”.
The woman said she was on the phone with triple zero when she saw the man point a rifle-style gun in the air and fire it before getting in the car and speeding off.
The same vehicle was found abandoned in nearby Florence Street, where it had crashed into a fence.
Police discovered a shortened rifle inside the car, along with prescription medication Wiggins’ name.
In court on Wednesday, Magistrate Pearce rejected claims by defence lawyer Greg Meakin that prosecutors had not proven its case that the man in the car that day was Wiggins.
“I’ve come to the view that the only rational inference [from the evidence] is it was the defendant who was in the vehicle, who discharged the firearm, who had possession of it and had used it,” he said.
The only rational inference is it was the defendant who....discharged the firearmMagistrate Darryl Pearce
During sentencing submissions, Mr Meakin said a community-based intensive corrections order would be an appropriate punishment for his client, who he noted was now “a changed man”.
He said Wiggins was in a new relationship with a young child, working as a truck driver and getting professional help for his mental health problems.
However, Magistrate Pearce sentenced Wiggins to 18 months behind bars, saying the offences were too serious to warrant a lesser punishment. Wiggins’ appeal is expected to be heard in February.