Toy gun punks shake shoppers

PUNKS with guns – albeit toy dart guns – have been terrorising shoppers outside Rose City Shoppingworld, at one point making an elderly lady the target of their dim-witted game.

Warwick’s Kieran William Donovan, aged 17, was arrested following the March 30 incident, in which he disrespected not only shoppers but also the police officers who attended the scene.

Donovan spent around two hours in custody after his arrest and this week fronted court to face a public nuisance charge arising from the incident.

The Warwick Magistrates Court heard police were called to the shopping centre at 2.50pm on the day in question, after complaints a group of youths were harassing shoppers with their “weapons”.

Officers who remained at the station monitored CCTV cameras operating in the area and watched Donovan run up behind an elderly couple and point the plastic gun next to the woman’s ear, so that it was almost touching.

The court heard Donovan then pulled the trigger as it sat beside her face, causing her to “flinch and shy away from the gun”.

The police prosecutor said the elderly couple were just walking along the footpath by themselves, not interacting with anyone and minding their business when they were targeted for the attack.

When police attended the scene they spoke to Donovan who was said to be hostile, refusing the officers’ directions to calm himself and spraying obscenities.

Magistrate Anne Thacker said the situation of youths terrorising shoppers and outstaying their welcome was a growing issue in the community, saying a number of other offenders had appeared in court earlier in the week.

“You’re not the only people on the planet and you’re not the only people in Warwick,” Magistrate Thacker told Donovan.

“I’m surprised it takes a police visit and a visit to the court for you to get that message.”

Magistrate Thacker said she didn’t see any reason Donovan shouldn’t give something back to community and sentenced him to 80 hours of community service to be completed in 12 months.

No conviction was recorded against Donovan and the toy gun was forfeited for destruction.

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