A man accused of killing another man after firing “10 shots in six seconds” during a violent brawl in Ipswich, west of Brisbane, has been released on bail after his lawyer told a court he was in fear of his life.
- Tye Bickle’s lawyer argued his client felt threatened and the victim was “the most aggressive”
- The court heard Mr Bickle was initially unarmed and unaware his friend had a gun
- The prosecution opposed the release, citing Mr Bickle’s history
Carlo Stewart died in Ipswich Hospital after suffering two gunshot wounds on a North Booval street in July last year.
The 31-year-old was killed during an alleged altercation between two groups, sparked by stolen motorbikes.
Three people, including Tye Bickle, were charged with his murder as well as two counts of grievous bodily harm.
During a bail hearing for Mr Bickle in Brisbane on Wednesday, the Supreme Court heard the 29-year-old and two friends had planned to meet with Mr Stewart at one of their homes, but several other men had shown up “unexpectedly” and uninvited .
Mr Bickle’s lawyer Angus Edwards told the court the group, some of whom were partially disguised in masks and hoodies and armed with weapons, had quickly become threatening.
“They weren’t there to sell girl scout cookies they were there with violence on their minds,” Mr Edwards said.
“[Mr Stewart] is the most aggressive, he is the man who throws the first punch.
“Anyone would have been in fear of their lives.”
Mr Edwards told the court his client had initially been unarmed and unaware his friend had a gun, but somehow gained possession of the weapon after that man was punched by Mr Stewart.
Mr Bickle then “fires 10 shots in 6 seconds”, but only after Mr Stewart attacked him with a bat, Mr Edwards said.
“A witness sees my client get hit in the head. And there’s no doubt that … because he ultimately had to get an operation — he had a fractured skull,” Mr Edwards said.
CCTV from a neighbor’s home showing parts of the altercation was played to the court. At one point, rapid gunfire and screaming can be heard.
Mr Edwards told the court his client only used the gun while under attack and that he would have a strong case for self-defence.
“The expectation of lethal or very serious violence would be apparent to anyone in those circumstances and under those circumstances, he would be entitled to use similar force.
“If a jury accepts that, he will be acquitted.”
The prosecution opposed his release, arguing the charges were serious and that Mr Bickle would be at risk of not appearing back in court.
Mr Bickle had previous convictions for serious assault and robbery, and had also breached bail conditions in the past, the court heard.
Justice Peter Callaghan allowed his release, granting him bail with a number of conditions including that he wears a GPS tracking device and has no contact with any witnesses.