16 June 2023

Alleged shooter accused of firing at car that contained child 'won't miss' next time

| Albert McKnight

Chris James Payne, 36, has been refused bail by the ACT Magistrates Court. Photo: LinkedIn.

A man accused of firing at a car that contained two parents and a child allegedly told them he wouldn’t miss next time.

Chris James Payne was arrested over the alleged shooting and cried and wiped his eyes before being refused bail by the ACT Magistrates Court on Thursday (15 June).

On 26 May 2023, the complainant drove to the home of a mutual acquaintance in Forbes Street, Turner with his partner and their infant child around 3.30 am, court documents say.

They were standing outside their car when it is alleged that Payne appeared from behind some bushes with a .22 calibre rifle and a couple of other people.

The complainant claimed he knew something wasn’t right so told his partner to get back into their car, jumped inside as well and started to drive away.

It is alleged Payne then fired at the car while they drove down the street, causing a bullet to ricochet off its rear driver’s side window.

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Minutes later, it is alleged the complainant’s partner recorded a phone call with Payne.

“My son was in the f-ing car and you want to f-ing shoot at it,” she said.

“I apologise, I apologise,” Payne allegedly replied.

He also allegedly told the woman, “Stay the f-k out of it, it’s none of your business is it”.

“Well it is when you f-ing shoot at the car with me and my f-ing child in it,” she replied.

Payne also allegedly said, “Wake the f-k up, next time if I do, I won’t f-ing miss you”.

A forensic analysis of the complainant’s car went on to find lead in a dent above the rear driver’s window, which police say is consistent with a bullet ricocheting off it.

Payne had applied for bail on Thursday, but this was opposed by the prosecution on the alleged likelihood of him reoffending and endangering the safety and welfare of anyone.

Legal Aid lawyer Ketinia McGowan said the 36-year-old had been working hard to support his family and he had a full-time job in roofing, where he worked six days a week.

She said he supported his ex-partner and her children as well as his grandmother, who was quite ill.

Chief Magistrate Lorraine Walker said there was an ongoing dispute between Payne and the complainant, but did say it was not entirely clear that he would have been aware that a child had been in the car on the allegations.

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The magistrate noted his criminal history as well as his non-compliance with court orders.

She ultimately found that when it came to the risks of further alleged offending, the safety of the community and of him failing to appear in court, these were all too great and she refused bail.

Payne, who was then seen holding his head in his hand, was remanded in custody and the matter was adjourned to 6 July.

He did not enter pleas to charges of discharging loaded arms at a person and unauthorised possession of a firearm.

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