A METFORD man who fired a shotgun into a house at Wallsend because the target had started a "sexual friends with benefits" relationship with a woman he liked and had sex with another woman has pleaded guilty to a number of firearm offences.
Mitchell John Phillips, 26, and the victim had only met once, but in the early hours of February 2 this year Phillips became enraged and began "rambling" about the victim while driving with a woman to buy cannabis.
Phillips drove past the victim's home in Platt Street at Wallsend a number of times before stopping and telling the woman "I'll be a minute".
The woman saw him pull a gun out from between his seat and door, get out and walk behind the car. About four seconds later she heard a "really loud bang" that made her duck in her seat.
Phillips had approached the house - where the victim was sleeping in the loungeroom - and fired a shotgun blast through the front window.
The victim later told police that there were a number of men who were vying for the woman in the car's affection at the time of the shooting and about two weeks before he had started a "sexual friends with benefits" relationship with her.
He also claimed to have had sex with another woman who Phillips was arrested with. Three adults and three children were at home at the time, but no one was injured.
The blast smashed the window and shotgun pellets were later found lodged in the wall. Phillips got back in the car and drove away at speed with his headlights off.
He later told the woman: "swear on your son that you won't say a word or you'll be next". The woman didn't go to the police because she was scared.
But police tracked the Toyota Camry - which had been stolen from Bundaberg in Queensland - using CCTV cameras and found it outside a home at Eucalyptus Circuit, Metford the next day.
Police set up surveillance and were watching when Phillips - who is disqualified from driving until June, 2022 - got behind the wheel with another woman. He was arrested at Broadmeadow and when confronted about the incident in Wallsend replied: "what shooting".
Police searched the car and found a disassembled shortened double barrel shotgun. On the same day, a woman went to the police station and admitted to stealing the car from Queensland and to owning the gun used in the shooting.
The woman said she had let Phillips borrow the car and insisted he had not known it was stolen.
Phillips appeared in Newcastle Local Court via audio visual link from Long Bay Correctional Centre on Wednesday where he pleaded guilty to a string of firearm offences. He will be sentenced next year.