Man who waved 'gun' at cops lucky to avoid being shot: Judge
A MAN with a "blatant disregard for the law" was captured on dashcam footage as he brandished what appeared to be a rifle in front of two police officers and they approached him with guns raised.
Clint Ross Evenis could be seen in the footage played in Warwick District Court yesterday, pointing what turned out to be a toy weapon over his left shoulder towards the officers' vehicle.
The Stanthorpe man pleaded guilty to two counts of serious assault of a police officer while pretending to be armed with a dangerous weapon.
Crown Prosecutor Chontelle Farnsworth said Evenis, 39, assaulted the police just days after he was sentenced to a suspended jail term.
The court heard police were called to The Summit in July 2018 after reports a man was holding a rifle, which was later discovered to be a child's toy.
Footage of the incident showed police driving up to the property before approaching Evenis, who used one hand to point the toy rifle over his shoulder before dropping it.
Throughout the 11-second ordeal, Evenis could be seen walking away from police.
Ms Farnsworth said the offence was "exceptionally serious".
"He has an appalling six-page criminal history, which demonstrates his blatant disregard for the law and orders imposed on him," she said.
Lawyer David Jones said while the incident would have been scary for police, the offence was at the lower end of the scale of seriousness.
"As soon as he was confronted, my instructions are that he was holding it up to show it wasn't a real weapon," Mr Jones said.
Mr Jones said Evenis had a difficult childhood and used marijuana to deal with personal issues but it became a stepping stone to a harder drug.
A reference from the mother of his child showed Evenis was a proactive father who helped with bathtime, dinner and taking care of his son, Mr Jones said.
The court heard Evenis spent 114 days in police custody following the offence.
Judge David Reid said while Evenis didn't threaten police by pointing the gun directly at them, it would likely have scared them.
"The person in most danger was probably you," Judge Reid said. "They drew their pistols and, if you had have pointed it at them, then they might have shot you.
"Could you imagine what it would be like if they were involved in a shooting like that? They'd probably never get over it."
Given his rehabilitation efforts, Judge Reid said there was a risk jail might set Evenis back. He was sentenced to a total of 20 months' jail but was released on parole immediately.