Axeman left in wheelchair after home invasion shooting

WHEN his cannabis supplier refused to sell him any more drugs, Brian Eric Wells armed himself with an axe and tried to break into the man's house.

But the 44-year-old has faced much more severe punishment for this crime than any prison sentence could provide.

As Wells tried to break into the Bolsover St house through a door and window, his drug supplier grabbed a gun and fired.

Although he was lucky to survive being shot in the neck, Wells was left a paraplegic.

Wells yesterday pleaded guilty in the Rockhampton District Court to burglary by break and enter with violence while armed.

He appeared before Judge Michael Burnett via video link, as he serves time in prison for rape.

The court was told he was on bail for this offence at the time of the attempted home invasion on September 12, 2010.

rok-shoot13b Police examine the scene of a shooting on Bolsover Street. ALLAN REINIKKA AR13-0910-2
rok-shoot13b Police examine the scene of a shooting on Bolsover Street. ALLAN REINIKKA AR13-0910-2

Crown prosecutor Ryder Reid said Wells's offence was a "particularly serious" example of that charge.

He cited the "persistence of the defendant's violence" in attacking a door before attempting to break through a window when that was unsuccessful.

Mr Reid said seven people who were in the house at the time were also at risk of Wells, who had armed himself with a "dangerous weapon".

When it came to sentencing, Mr Reid said a "weighty feature of mitigation" was the punishment Wells had suffered in being shot.

Mr Reid asked that a sentence of 12 to 18 months, to be served cumulatively, be handed down by Judge Burnett.

Defence barrister Ross LoMonaco said Wells "has great difficulty in actually recollecting what happened on the day", but did have some memory of threats being made against his two children.

Mr LoMonaco said despite "significant problems" with drugs in the past, Wells had not used for some time.

However, he said at the time of the 2010 offence, Wells was smoking cannabis "a lot" and taking valium.

Mr LoMonaco said Wells did have a "lengthy" criminal history in both Queensland and New South Wales, but that the effects on him as a result of the attempted home invasion would be "everlasting".

He said Wells would be on a pension for the rest of his life after being "significantly disabled" by the shooting.

Mr LoMonaco asked that any sentence not interfere with Wells' parole options for his current prison time.

Judge Burnett is expected to hand down his sentence next week.



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