Mt Pleasant man points air rifle at woman’s head, before laughing with mates

A Mt Pleasant man who committed his second firearm offence has avoided an immediate prison sentence.

Devin Rowland, 27, pointed a gun at his former partner’s head, telling her it was just an air rifle, at their Mt Pleasant home on December 5.

Rowland, who was under the influence of alcohol, then started laughing with his mates, making the woman feel terrified.

The following day, the woman went to the Ballarat Police Station to make a statement and Rowland was arrested and taken into custody.

He was sentenced at the Ballarat Magistrates Court on Friday to an 18-month community based order after he pleaded guilty to five charges, including unlawful assault, threatening to inflict serious injury and being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm. 

In another incident on October 4, Rowland and his former partner were traveling home when she recorded him telling her he would rip her hair out and dump her, and he would stab her in the face 20 times.

The court was told Rowland was convicted of possessing a firearm in April 2015.

Defence lawyer Mike Wardell told the court his client and former partner had a violent and dysfunctional relationship.

“It was a poisonous, violent relationship between them both,” Mr Wardell said.

He said Rowland’s mother died five years ago, leaving behind four young sons including Rowland.

“Mr Rowland has brought those children up on his own. The youngest is still at school doing year 11. None of his three brothers have a prior criminal history,” Mr Wardell said.

“It’s significant that he has pleaded guilty to the charges today as it shows he is taking full responsibility.

“He will continue to live in Mt Pleasant and continue to provide the care to his siblings who are all struggling with the loss of their mother in 2012.”

Magistrate Ron Saines said Rowland’s sense of pride in bringing up his brothers was hard-earned, but said his offending was a significant example of domestic violence over time.

“The court must send a very strong message to you and everyone else in the community that domestic violence must stop,” Mr Saines said.

Rowland’s CCO includes 150 hours of unpaid community work. He will undergo assessment and treatment for drug and alcohol abuse, and complete relevant programs.