Police on scene of the shooting at Andergrove in October 2019. Picture: Daily Mercury
Police on scene of the shooting at Andergrove in October 2019. Picture: Daily Mercury

‘I tried being nice’: Man jailed after firing gun in house

A violent ex who threatened to "melt off" his former partner's face with caustic soda before turning up at her home brandishing a loaded gun has been jailed.

Mark Brenton Payne, 28, fired two warning shots in front of the woman and her two-year-old daughter after he broke into her Andergrove home in October 2019, the Brisbane District Court.

Payne was sentenced on Wednesday to five years' jail for the terrifying home invasion which the court heard occurred after Payne became angered that the 24-year-old woman had blocked his number.

Prosecutor Ben Jackson said the pair, who had broken up after a nine-month relationship, had been texting earlier that day, when Payne wrote "now you're going to see why you should show me respect, I tried being nice, now you asked for this".

The scene of the shooting at Andergrove. Picture: Daily Mercury
The scene of the shooting at Andergrove. Picture: Daily Mercury

Mr Jackson said that earlier in their relationship he had "threatened to melt (her) face off with caustic soda" while under the influence of drugs.

The woman was at her Andergrove home with her brother and his friends when Payne arrived later that evening and loudly bashed on the front door before breaking in through the back door.

While waving the gun around Payne yelled at the woman and knocked over a saucepan with teriyaki sauce which splashed in her eye.

When the woman began yelling Payne said, "this is how much I don't give a f***" and fired two shots outside before fleeing the scene.

The court heard the two-year-old was metres away on the couch at the time and her mother still has nightmares and "wakes up crying" when she hears loud noises.

Queensland Police arrested Payne four days later at his Andergrove home and found drugs and other weapons and ammunition.

He pleaded guilty to multiple charges including burglary and threatening violence, aggravated possession of a category H weapon, possessing a category H and category D weapon, possessing drugs and utensils.

Mr Jackson said that at the time of the offending Payne was on parole for another violent home invasion.

In 2017, Payne was sentenced to four years' jail after he and another woman broke into the home of an escort he was infatuated with before assaulting her and stealing her dog for ransom.

Mr Jackson said Payne had also been given a seven-month suspended sentence after he stalked and assaulted another ex-partner in New South Wales.

Barrister Scott McLennan told the court Payne had not taken drugs in a long time and was willing to undertake anger management sessions.

"He has a number of issues, but he is someone who is seen by even people he's hurt as someone who has some redeeming qualities," Mr McLennan said.

Judge Deborah Richards said his history was concerning and his offending was serious because it involved a gun being used in front of a toddler.

"You have a very disturbing history of violence against ex-partners ... and it seems to be a continuing trend," Judge Deborah Richards said.

"You are still a young man, there is no reason ... that you can't change your life. But until you make some significant changes, the (psychologist's) report suggests that you will reoffend."

Payne was sentenced to five years' jail.

After time already served, he will be eligible for parole on August 7.

*For 24-hour support phone Queensland's DVConnect on 1800 811 811 or MensLine on 1800 600 636, NSW's Domestic Violence Line on 1800 656 463 or the national hotline 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732).



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