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Pig hunters ambushed, held at gunpoint

IT SOUNDS like a scene in a horror movie.

Two people hunting pigs in the dead of night and the middle of nowhere, ambushed by two unknown assailants.

At 1am on May 19 last year, Melinda Anne McCoy and David Gordon Dennis trapped the victims on a Hannaford road outside Tara.

McCoy, 50, blocked the road using her vehicle.

With the victims' path obstructed, Dennis, 42, rammed their vehicle with another car.

He exited his car with a rifle and smashed the victims' windscreen.

With the male victim out of his vehicle, Dennis pressed the muzzle of his rifle against his temple and assaulted him with the weapon.

McCoy approached the woman victim, punched her in the face and took the rifle from Dennis.

While she pointed the rifle at both victims and threatened to shoot them, Dennis removed two dogs from their vehicle.

In a fleeting escape, the victims sideswiped one of the cars and were pursued and rammed at high speed by Dennis.

Both pleaded guilty to armed robbery, threatening violence at night, wilful damage, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle and common assault when they appeared at Dalby District Court on Monday.

WHAT'S MAKING NEWS

Crown prosecutor Jessica Goldie described the behaviour as "terrifying" for the victims and said the female victim thought she was going to die at the time.

Dennis' defence barrister, John Bailey, said the incident was a "misguided turf war", with the victims disturbing what McCoy and Dennis perceived to be their territory.

Judge Brendan Butler said it appeared both offenders were angered that others were out hunting pigs.

Mr Butler said the behaviour was out of proportion for any possible grievance both had with the victims.

Dennis and McCoy were both sentenced to a total four years and six months in prison for all charges.

Dennis' 70 days in custody counted as time served and he would be eligible for parole on February 9, 2016.

McCoy, who was serving a prison term for driving her car at a traffic policeman in 2012, would be eligible for parole on April 19, 2016.

Both were also disqualified from holding a driver's licence for four years.

Topics:  dalby magistrates court, pig hunting, tara


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