A Queensland dad will not see his children because he fears violent thugs will kill them as retribution for speaking to police.
A Queensland dad will not see his children because he fears violent thugs will kill them as retribution for speaking to police. Polka Dot Images

Shooting victim's sacrifice to keep his kids safe from thugs

A QUEENSLAND father has given up seeing his children because he fears vigilantes will kill them as payback for him speaking to police about a crime.

Former Toowoomba man Gregory Phillip Lance and his mate Gavin David Blakesley Trask pleaded guilty in Brisbane District Court on Thursday for their role in luring the 44-year-old victim to a home in Boronia Heights where they subjected him to a brutal evening of violence for speaking to cops.

The man spent about two weeks in hospital recovering from the November 2016 attack that left him with a gunshot wound to his leg, back trauma, three broken ribs, deep gashes to the head and side and other injuries, Crown prosecutor Susan Hedge said.

The "cowardly, brutal and callous" attack involved Trask and Lance, but was allegedly plotted by their male friend who is expected to be sentenced next week.

The alleged ringleader tricked the victim - who we have chosen not to identify for his safety - into coming to the address where he was set upon by the gang of thugs, the court heard.

Trask started the violence by punching the victim in the head and knocking him to the ground as the unsuspecting victim walked into the lounge room.

The other man and Trask continued assaulting him with their fists while Lance stabbed at him with a samurai sword.

Then the third man held a gun against the victim's leg and pulled the trigger, Ms Hedge said.

The gunshot fractured the bone, leaving fragments in the gaping wound. 

Bleeding profusely, "in extreme pain" and in a "pitiful state", the victim pleaded with the offenders.

"I haven't done anything wrong, please let me go," he begged them.

The trio kept yelling "get up you dog" and demanding he pay them $10,000.

Trask used the rifle butt to hit the victim in the head, knocking him out and they all crowded around to continue kicking and punching him.

Eventually, the victim was able to crawl from the home and into the street.

As he was undergoing surgery in hospital, the victim's home was raided and everything of value stolen.

The court heard this was likely related to the assault.

Ms Hedge said the attack was payback for the victim speaking to police about another matter and for an issue regarding drugs.

Lance, 37, pleaded guilty to a range of charges on Thursday including assault and unlawful use of a motor vehicle.

Trask - who worked in Central Queensland and is the son of a former Ipswich businessman - pleaded guilty to assault and wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

The man accused of planning the attack and shooting the victim will face court on May 15.

Judge Leanne Clare said the victim suffered significant physical and emotional injuries and it was likely he would never fully recover.

He now walks with a limp, experiences excruciating pain and has anxiety and depression.

"(The other offender) is a dangerous man - you both joined him to mete out punishment," Judge Clare said.

"The trap was set and you agreed to participate, to give him a touch up.

"Anyone could have seen what a volatile situation that was - it was a bloody and violent assault.

"It could have been deadly."

Judge Clare said the 44-year-old was in a constant state of fear and was so scared about being targeted again that he fled his home and refused to see his children in case they too became victims.

"He felt so unsafe in this city that he has had to move and is now isolated from his friends and family," she said.

Judge Clare said the men were "cowardly, brutal and callous".

"This man was targeted because he was a prosecution witness - it was a protracted terrifying attack on an unarmed man with serious consequences," she said.

Judge Clare sentenced Trask to seven years in jail with immediate parole due to more than two years already served on remand.

Maryborough-born Lance was jailed for seven years and, due to time served, will be eligible for parole in November, 2019. - NewsRegional

News Corp Australia


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