Four in court over shots fired during jewellery row

FOUR people accused of being involved in a dispute at Hatton Vale during which shots were fired appeared before Toowoomba Magistrates Court yesterday.

Police claim the dispute was over jewellery.

Lockyer Valley residents Wade Clinton Klowss, 37, Troy Anthony Johns, 35, Stephan Noel Puig, 45, and Andrew James Balke, 36, appeared in custody on charges of threatening violence and discharging a firearm, authority required to possess explosives (ammunition), unlawful possession of weapons, going armed to cause fear and common assault.

None of the accused was required to enter any pleas to the charges and each applied for bail.

By statements given to police it was alleged the four arrived in a vehicle at the home of Klowss's girlfriend in Hatton Vale about 7pm Saturday.

Some witness statements claim the mother of Klowss's girlfriend had come from the house armed with a shotgun which she allegedly fired.

It was then alleged one of the four accused then fired a rifle.

It is believed the woman occupant of the home has also been charged with weapons offences.

Solicitor Claire Graham, for Balke, told the court her client instructed that he had remained at the car during the whole incident and was unaware of any weapons being in the car.

Duty lawyer Sarah Gordon, for the other three accused, said her client Johns likewise had stayed with Balke at the car.

The identity of those involved would be an issue and police statements given by the complainants at the home had significant inconsistencies, Ms Gordon submitted.

Magistrate Graham Lee said because it was alleged a weapon had been used each of the four was in a "show cause" situation in that they had to show cause why they should be granted bail.

Mr Lee said he was satisfied Puig and Balke had shown cause and both were granted bail with strict conditions including residing at addresses provided to the court, reporting to police and having no contact with any co-accused or the complainants.

However, Klowss and Johns were refused bail and remanded in custody.

The case was adjourned for mention on September 21.


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