A VOLUNTEER firefighter has admitted to pointing a loaded rifle towards Rural Fire Service (RFS) workers and vehicles to get them to "f*** off" and to "see who they were" through the gun's scope.
Michael Stephen Finch, 42, was set to front a hearing in Tamworth Local Court this week, but the matters were resolved at the last minute and guilty pleas were entered.
The matter was adjourned to February for a full sentencing report to be prepared.
"There are quite a few offences here," magistrate Julie Soars said.
Aboriginal Legal Service defence solicitor Joseph Healy applied for some of Finch's bail conditions to ease and the court heard police prosecutor Sergeant Rob Baillie had agreed.
"I will vary Mr Finch's bail, delete curfew, delete reporting," Ms Soars said.
Finch was seated in court for the mention and will return for sentencing next year.
The hearing was canned after one charge against Finch was dropped and he entered guilty pleas to allegations of common assault, and carrying a firearm in a manner likely to injure people or property.
Eight common assault offences were listed as further charges by the prosecution.
The court heard Finch had already admitted to three counts of not keeping a firearm safely, after officers discovered three guns inside his unlocked Holden Commodore parked at an Appleby property.
Police facts show officers were called to the block of land on the outskirts of Tamworth on the morning of April 24 after reports a man had aimed a rifle at a group of RFS volunteers.
Eight fully marked RFS vehicles - including trucks and four-wheel-drives - and 20 firefighters from Tamworth, Moore Creek and Attunga were in the area to carry out a controlled backburn near the property.
Police said one volunteer described fearing for his life, seeing it flash before his eyes and "waiting for a bang" after Finch lifted a Browning .308 rifle and pointed it towards the group twice while they were parked about 50 metres away, and again after the alarm had been raised and they were driving away.
Eight firefighters claim to have "felt threatened" and "feared being shot" after witnessing the actions of Finch that morning.
Court documents show the accused told police he was also a volunteer with the RFS and was "just looking through the scope [of the rifle] to see who it was", and that the group should have known who he was.
The documents show he denied waving the gun, but admitted the volunteers would have felt threatened.
"As soon as I pulled it out, they all left, achieved what I wanted them to do, I wanted them to f*** off," police claim he told them at the time.
Finch showed police three firearms he had in his unlocked Holden Commodore at the property, the rifle used in the incident was lying across the back seat.
Police facts show the accused admitted that the firearm was fully loaded when he pointed it towards the RFS group earlier that morning.
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