Drunk man hunted down bikers with loaded rifle
A MAN who drove around Humpty Doo drunk and with a loaded rifle in his ute in the middle of the night looking for quad bike riders he believed had burgled his factory has been handed a good behaviour bond.
Anthony Lawrence Furey pleaded guilty in the Darwin Local Court to a string of offences including high-range drink-driving and possessing an unregistered firearm following the incident in November last year.
The court heard police were tracking him after receiving reports from members of the public that a heavily intoxicated Furey had approached them and told them he had a loaded .308 in the car and was looking for the quad bikers.
Officers caught up to him on Spencley Rd and noticed his Mitsubishi Triton was heavily damaged and with its front passenger side wheel on its rims, causing a gouge along the road.
When they approached the vehicle, police noticed Furey smelled heavily of liquor, was slurring his words and had bloodshot eyes and later returned a blood-alcohol reading of 0.208.
In his defence, Furey submitted a letter to the court in which he stated it was "only a coincidence" that the .308 was in the car, he never threatened anyone with it and he was "truly sorry" for his "stupid behaviour".
"I have been around firearms all my life and would never threaten anybody, even while heavily intoxicated," he said.
"It's not in any way in my nature."
Furey said he was installing a security system at the factory on November 9 following a break-in, had "a number of drinks" and fell asleep in the office before awaking to someone opening the door.
"I jumped up, yelled and ran outside to see somebody climbing out over our fence and getting on a four wheeler motorbike as a passenger and riding off toward the dirt track at the end of our street," he said.
"I immediately jumped into my car and pursued. The bike was well out of sight so I drove down the track and turned off my engine to listen. I could clearly hear the bike and drove further.
"After driving around the maze of tracks for 20 minutes and trying to do three point turns in the bush, the car sustained some panel damage by the time I exited onto the bitumen road."
Furey said he followed the four-wheeler tracks to a shed down the road where he "announced myself politely" and admitted he "had been drinking a lot".
When two men told him a woman there was "concerned and was ringing the police" Furey said he "apologised for the time of night and thanked them for their help, shook hands and left".
Furey said he regretted his "rushed choice in a drunken state to get in the car and pursue".
"I could have stayed and still protected my property without taking up chase and it would have been a better choice for all," he said.
"I am sad that the desire to know the identity of a person who invades my family's space and steals from the very empty pockets of my hard working family is such a strong urge to hold back."
In handing Furey an 18-month good behaviour bond, judge Alan Woodcock said references tendered to the court showed he was a hard working and decent man.
Mr Woodcock said while the offending was "very alarming conduct" he accepted it was "very much out of character".
Furey was also disqualified from driving for 12 months and ordered to pay $1050 in victims levies.