A MINE worker accused of shooting a shotgun with intent to murder a man near Gunnedah has been denied bail in court.
Seated in the dock of Tamworth Local Court, and flanked by supporters in the back of the court, Anthony James Koicev faces a maximum of 25 years behind bars if found guilty of shooting with intent to kill in Carroll last Thursday night.
Solicitor Geoff Archer argued the court would have "grave concerns into the strength of the case" and Koicev would spend months in custody on a charge "in my submission, what is a very flimsy set of facts".
Police claim the 38-year-old pointed a gun out the window of his car parked on Phillip Street at Carroll, at another man sitting in a vehicle parked a short distance away at 11.10pm.
No one was injured but Koicev was arrested on Clifton Road at Piallaway on Friday.
The bail application
Mr Archer said the case centred on an allegation Mr Koicev "has fired a sawn-off shotgun, or a shortened shotgun, at the victim who was approximately 15m away, across the other side of the road".
He said the complainant "can't understand how the shot didn't hit him" and "sees what he thinks, appears to be" a firearm.
He said they had yet to see any corroborative statements to support the gun firing.
"It's being fired at a motor vehicle ... the court would have concern in relation to the veracity of this complaint," he said.
Mr Archer argued that the charged is firing at the complainant and "there would be some evidence in the fact sheet ... [that] pellets have somehow caused some damage".
"There's none of that ... there's no evidence a firearm was ever found," he said.
Mr Archer said Koicev was a "gentleman with a limited record"; who works; lives in Sydney but stays with his girlfriend in Carroll; and was about to start a job at mine.
"The victim and the accused were friends," he said, adding there was no particular incident that had seen them fall out, but they had grown "distant" over the years.
Mr Archer submitted "the victim is so traumatised he's receiving treatment in hospital" and there was "no other forensic, corroborative evidence" to support the charge.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Rob Baillie opposed bail and said it was a "strong prosecution case that will need work" but it was in the "initial stages of the investigation".
"There are still forensic inquiries under way at the place that it occurred, the accused's vehicle, they have that," he said.
Sergeant Baillie said witnesses are "supporting the victim's version of events" and it was early days but that is the case "always in serious investigative matters".
Magistrate Julie Soars said the case relied heavily on the evidence of the complainant who "recognised the accused" and reported him firing "a single shot in the direction of the victim who was sitting in a car".
"The victim says he saw the gun in the hands of the accused," she said.
"The shot could still be close and not hit the car."
Mr Archer argued "the police fact sheet doesn't make out one element which is intent to murder".
"The Crown needs to establish the intention ... to murder and that's a very high bar," he said.
"I would submit it is a weak case."
Ms Soars considered the arguments on the weak case; the "paucity of evidence"; and the strong need to be in the community.
She said it was "fairly early days in this matter" and the element with intent to murder could be "inferred" from "shooting so close to the victim; on the victim's evidence that the victim was in fear of his life".
Ms Soars said the facts were "sufficiently strong" and found Koicev had not shown cause why his detention was not justified.
"I have to refuse him bail," she said.
The case returns to court in January with police ordered to compile a brief of evidence in the meantime.