A man who bought a cigarette lighter shaped like a pistol and brandished it at a Bondi servo to the horror of another motorist has been sentenced to six weeks jail.
Jason Collier, 40, of Griffith was at the Caltex on Bondi Road around 10.20pm on February 2 when he brought the realistic looking 30cm replica from his car and threatened to “pistol whip” his two female acquaintances according to the police fact sheet.
Collier’s lawyer told Magistrate Allison Hawkins his client had purchased the replica gun in Thailand and brought it through customs.
Documents before Waverley Local Court state Collier, who was on bail at the time, had borrowed a Nissan Navara from Nadia Sloane in order to transport some items.
He was berating Ms Sloane and her friend Kaela Jane Powell for their packing skills stating “You better pack this car properly c***” before going to have a cigarette.
The police facts state the women were then overheard mocking Collier by motorist Dimitri Dilles.
An alarmed Mr Dilles had the service station attendant call triple-0 and retreated to the safety of his own car, which he then parked on the opposite side of the road, after he saw Collier lift the replica gun over his head and threaten to pistol whip the women.
Officers arrived soon after and drew their own guns due to the report of a firearm.
Police facts state Collier was arrested and handcuffed in the service station toilets.
He refused to provide officers with a statement.
“He did in fact agree that the replica firearm looked like a legitimate firearm and was not easily distinguishable as a lighter in any way,” court documents read.
Collier’s lawyer said his client was remorseful and had plead guilty to the charge of possessing a firearm without a licence.
“He accepts the replica could easily be mistaken for the real thing and indeed this is what happened on this occasion,” the lawyer said.
“He accepts how deeply disturbing this would have been for the bystander.”
Ms Powell gave police a statement that Collier made the “pistol whip” comment in jest while Ms Sloane told officers she didn’t hear him say it at all.
Magistrate Hawkins was told the Collier family was very well respected in Griffith as they owned the local funeral parlour, fish and chip shop, laundromat and a farm.
She heard Collier had been battling a drug addiction but had been sober since February.
Magistrate Hawkins said she took into account Collier had spent almost four weeks in custody on this matter.
Collier’s drug use spiralled out of control after his father fell off the roof and needed to come to Sydney for medical care and his son followed, the court was told.
He intends to return to Griffith after he is released from Junee Correctional Centre on August 19.