4 August 2022

'Bam!': drug dealer talks about being shot in face, allegedly over pedophile rumours

| Albert McKnight
ACT Law Courts Photo: Michelle Kroll Region Media

Three accused are currently facing a Supreme Court trial related to the shooting of a man in Spence in 2021. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

The drug dealer who was shot in the face in northern Canberra last year, allegedly after he was accused of being a pedophile, has detailed the ordeal he experienced to the ACT Supreme Court.

Sugimatatihuna Bernard Gabriel Mena and Bradley Joe Roberts, both 24, are facing an ACT Supreme Court trial that began this week, along with 25-year-old Rebecca Dulcie Parlov.

Mr Mena is charged with attempted murder and is accused of shooting the victim in the face, stomach and arm in Spence on 11 March 2021, while he and his co-accused are also charged with aggravated burglary.

The victim’s initial police interview was played to the 14 jurors on Wednesday (3 August), in which he could be seen sitting at a table in a hospital gown with a bandage wrapped around his forearm.

He said there had been rumours about him being a pedophile for about a week before the shooting, including allegedly from Ms Parlov.

He said he called her brother and asked him, “What the f-k’s going on with your sister? She’s losing the f-king plot”.

The victim said he was at a house in Spence with the resident who lived there and didn’t know the three co-accused were allegedly going to come over until he heard a car outside.

“[The resident] was trying to convince Bec that it was all bulls–t and Bec wouldn’t have a bar of it,” he said.

He alleged Mr Parlov said she was coming inside “and the next minute, she did”.

“[They] barged through the door. It all happened so quick.”

He alleged Ms Parlov yelled at him in the kitchen about being a “kiddie fiddler” and he grabbed a nearby knife that was on a table “to protect” himself “because I knew that they were coming to hurt me”.

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He alleged Mr Mena then came in and also said “something about me being a kiddie fiddler”.

“All of a sudden, out of nowhere, he pulled out a gun. Bam!” he told police.

The victim said he was shot in the arm, which ricocheted and hit him “in the gut”, and the second shot “got me in the jaw”. He alleged that after the shooting, the trio “bolted”.

He knew he was shot from a .22 calibre gun, he said, “because I know what a .22 looks like”.

A police officer asked him if he felt when he was hit.

“Felt shock more than anything. I couldn’t believe that it actually happened,” he said.

He was also asked what was going through his mind when Ms Parlov’s brother was driving him to hospital.

“That I wouldn’t snitch,” he said.

When he testified before the jurors, he said that before the shooting he had been driving around northern Canberra with the resident.

“We were out doing deliveries, seeing people, catching up with people for drug deals,” he said.

He alleged a meeting was organised with “Brad Roberts” (believed to be Mr Roberts) outside the Bonner Woolworths.

After the resident and the man thought to be Mr Roberts had caught up, he said he asked Mr Roberts “if he was the one who called me a pedo”.

He alleged Mr Roberts told him, “I’ll go get Sugi, then we’ll come back and whack ya”, but the resident said, “no, it’s not him”, and they all left the area.

Crown Prosecutor Trent Hickey asked him about comments he had made to police about protecting his family.

“I was worried about certain people from certain groups, associations, punishing my family,” he said.

In cross-examination, Mr Mena’s barrister James Sabharwahl brought up texts between the victim and his girlfriend that were sent in March 2021.

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In them, the victim said he had to pay $750 within an hour because he was quitting a bikie gang. However, he also told the court he made multiple lies in the texts because, in his words, “I was a fiend”.

“I was a druggo. All that there was so I could get some drugs and get payback for what was going on between us,” he said of the texts.

The victim said he had met Mr Mena six to a dozen times and knew him through other people.

“He’s arrogant. I didn’t really get along with him or didn’t think much of him,” he said, claiming Mr Mena had told him he’d been stabbed five times.

In the police interview, he had alleged, “He’s the one that shot me”.

The three co-defendants have pleaded not guilty. The trial is held before Justice Chrissa Loukas-Karlsson and is estimated to run for seven days.

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