Wendouree gunman jailed for firing at vehicles

A magistrate has ruled out mental impairment when sentencing a Wendouree man who fired a rifle into moving cars.

Edward Farquhar, 52, was sentenced to three years prison over the February incident in which two moving cars were hit by his stray bullets on Learmonth Road.

His supporters shed tears in court as the verdict was read.

In sentencing, Magistrate Mark Stratmann said Farquhar clearly knew the difference between right and wrong when he fired his gun on multiple occasions.

Farquhar used a rifle and silencer to shoot at three vehicles randomly from February 4 to 7.

On two occasions the shots came close to hitting drivers or passengers in the cars struck by the bullets.

Farquhar shot at vehicles from his car port, before a six hour siege ended in his arrest on February 7.

His defence counsel had previously submitted Farquhar had fired his rifle into mid-air and had not actually shown criminal intent.

However Mr Stratmann said the it was clear the bullets had been fired directly at the cars, as opposed to in the air.

“The offending is extremely serious,” Mr Stratmann said at the Ballarat Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

“They (the bullets) were fired directly at vehicles.”

Despite Farquhar suffering paranoid schizophrenia, Mr Stratmann said a doctor’s report showed the gunman had presented “normal intelligence”. 

Farquhar has already served 144 days in custody. 

He faces a non-parole period of two years.