A MAN told Orange District Court yesterday he feared for his life and the safety of his two children when Rodney Bennett allegedly broke into his house and assaulted him in November last year.
However Bill Walsh, Bennett’s barrister accused the alleged victim of exaggerating to a triple-0 operator by saying: “Rodney Bennett is at the door with his f....... mates. He’s got a gun and he’s come to shoot me and the kids - he’s just threatened me.”
“I put it to you there was no gun and what you told the operator was not true,” Mr Walsh told the man.
Mr Walsh said the notebook evidence given to police at the scene the night of the incident and a further statement given to police by the alleged victim made no mention of his client Bennett threatening him with a gun.
But the alleged victim insisted he had told police a gun threat was involved on the night but it was not included in the notebook evidence.
“You are not seriously saying a police officer would show no interest in a gun being involved?” Mr Walsh said.
Earlier in the day the alleged victim gave evidence telling the court through crown prosector Joanne Smith when the triple-0 operator told him to find a safe place for his children his son hid in a wardrobe and when his daughter tried to hide on a bunk bed he pulled her off and pushed her under the bed in the same room.
He said he was on his stomach trying to push his daughter closer to the wall with his mobile phone still connected to triple-0, when Bennett came into the room, pulled him from under the bed and began assaulting him.
Part of the recording of that triple-0 call was played in court to the jury yesterday.
The catalyst for the altercation according to the alleged victim was Bennett’s claim he had not responded to several telephone calls.
However after Judge Christopher Hoy granted the man a certificate of indemnity to protect him from incriminating himself while giving evidence, the alleged victim admitted to Mr Walsh during cross examination he had a prior drug problem and had previously supplied marijuana to Bennett, who he had known for several years.
He also told the court he had smoked marijuana in the garage on the night of the alleged assault while his children were eating dinner in the dining room.
Ms Smith had more than 20 photographs of the inside of the alleged victim’s house to familiarise the jury with where the alleged assault took place and where the father of two claims another man was hiding out of sight with a gun during the incident.