SHOOTING: Police seize the stolen white Hilux ute used in the July 1 offending.
SHOOTING: Police seize the stolen white Hilux ute used in the July 1 offending. 7 News Brisbane

Group flees wreckage as mate lies dying from a gunshot wound

A GROUP of men fled a car crash as the driver lay "lifeless" behind the wheel, bleeding from a gunshot wound to his neck.

Gladstone man Dominic Julian Smith was one of the men who fled the Hilux at an intersection at Morayfield, leaving witnesses to call 000 for the driver, 22-year-old Nickolas Robertson.

The Nambour father-of-two died later in hospital.

Nambour man Nickolas Dean Robertson, 22, died in hospital on July 7 after suffering a gunshot wound to the back of his neck on July 1.
Nambour man Nickolas Dean Robertson, 22, died in hospital on July 7 after suffering a gunshot wound to the back of his neck on July 1.

Smith pleaded guilty in Gladstone Magistrates Court today to several charges including one count of the dangerous conduct of a weapon, discharging a weapon in a public place, possession of a weapon under the influence of drugs and stealing.

Dominic Julian Smith pleaded guilty in Gladstone Magistrates Court to several charges.
Dominic Julian Smith pleaded guilty in Gladstone Magistrates Court to several charges.

The court was told although the 23-year-old was in possession of a gun in the back seat of the Hilux on July 1 about 5.10am he was not the killer of his "life-long friend".

Police prosecutor Joel Sleep said the Hilux had been stolen on June 17.

He told the court it was used by the four men who had been travelling from Beerwah to purchase methamphetamine.

Smith was with friends and under the influence of meth when he used a gun to shoot a Hilux window and at street signs while travelling through a semi-rural area.

Another passenger in the back seat was in possession of a sawn-off rifle, used to shoot out the window of the Hilux.

The court heard that while handling the rifle, this other man fired the bullet that struck Mr Robertson in his neck.

Mr Robertson collapsed behind the wheel, causing the Hilux to crash at an intersection.

Witnesses told police three men fled east and one fled north on foot.

Emergency services were called and paramedics treated Mr Robertson at the scene.

Police seize the stolen white Hilux ute used in the July 1 offending.
Police seize the stolen white Hilux ute used in the July 1 offending.

He died from his injuries in the intensive care unit at the Royal Brisbane Hospital on July 7.

The court heard the bullet travelled through the left-hand side of the man's neck, spinal cord and mouth.

Witnesses who ran over to the Hilux described him as "lifeless".

Smith's fingerprints turned up in the forensic evidence results and police visited his Kin Kora home on September 29.

When police arrived he tried to run away but was stopped in his backyard.

The court heard Smith was highly cooperative with police and without his admissions during the interview it was likely he would not have been charged for the offences.

Defence lawyer Jun Pepito said his client had a life-long friendship with Mr Robertson whose death greatly impacted Smith.

He said Smith was on drugs the day of the shooting and had issues with meth.

At the time of offending Smith was on parole for an arson charge committed on the Sunshine Coast for which he was sentenced at Maroochydore District Court in October, 2017.

Magistrate Dennis Kinsella sentenced Smith to serve 12 months imprisonment, to serve two months behind bars. He will be eligible for parole January 9.



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