WOODGATE SHOOTING: Lee Dennis Avery was sentenced to three years jail after pleading guilty to grievous bodily harm over a shooting incident at a Woodgate property in July 2015. Photo: Max Fleet / NewsMail
WOODGATE SHOOTING: Lee Dennis Avery was sentenced to three years jail after pleading guilty to grievous bodily harm over a shooting incident at a Woodgate property in July 2015. Photo: Max Fleet / NewsMail Max Fleet BUN170715WDG11

Meth use blamed after man shoots himself, and his dad

SHOT by an increasingly paranoid son, 70-year-old Dennis Avery had no idea how serious his injuries were as he drove himself to Bundaberg Hospital.

Hit in his left side, pellets punctured his spleen, fractured his ribs and injured his diaphragm.

Within hours of leaving the Woodgate property where he lived with his son, Dennis was placed in an induced coma.

Despite the life-threatening injuries, Dennis Avery supported his son, 31-year-old Lee Dennis Avery, as he was sentenced in the Bundaberg Supreme Court today.

Avery pleaded guilty to one count of grievous bodily harm and possessing weapons along with nine summary offences including drug possession.

In the days leading up to the July 17 shooting last year, Avery, whose methamphetamine use had increased during the previous three months after a relationship break down, was acting erratic and paranoid.

He believed his conversations were being recorded, pulled out the light bulbs so they couldn't be used as surveillance devices and destroyed a mobile phone by putting it in the toaster.

On the evening of July 17, Avery shot himself through the hand when a shotgun in his pocket discharged.

Despite being helped by his father, Avery believed people were on the roof shooting at him.

As Dennis went to speak to him on the landing of the stairs, Avery accidentally discharged the weapon, hitting his father.

Avery accepted the charges against him on the basis that he was criminally negligent.

His defence lawyer tended medical reports stating Avery was suffering drug intoxication from methamphetamine use in the days before the incident.

It was accepted Avery did not intend to harm his father and may not have even known he was carrying a loaded gun.

"Drug use eventually took it's toll on him," Avery's defence lawyer said.

"He's come to understand his dependency on methamphetamine led him to psychotic thinking.

"He's an honest, hard working man who didn't realise what the use of mehtamphetamine was doing to his mind."

Avery was sentenced to three years jail with immediate parole, having served 430 day in pre-sentence custody.

Family members, including Dennis Avery were in court yesterday and visibly pleased at the decision which saw Avery released from prison.


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