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Ice user shoots brother, thought he was going to kill her

AN ICE user shot her brother in the stomach with a shotgun because she believed he was going to kill her.

At Ipswich District Court the shooter, Carla Anne Lutgenau, appeared in the dock to plead guilty to one count of acts intended to disable.

Crown prosecutor Dzenita Balic said Lutgenau and her brother, Kurt had a "volatile" relationship.

The court was told Lutgenau's brother had previously made threats to kill her via text message.

The day of the shooting, Lutgenau had been living with her parents in Laidley Heights and needed to borrow the family car to drive to college.

When the then 33-year-old discovered her brother had the car, she became upset.

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Lutgenau's mum phoned the brother about the situation and, according to her, he responded by saying he would drive over to "sort his sister out".

Fearing for what her brother might do to her, Lutgenau grabbed her father's 12 gauge shotgun for protection.

When her brother arrived at the house, she fired a birdshot at his stomach from about 10m away.

Typically used for hunting birds, a birdshot is a mass of tiny metal pellets that project in a widening pattern as they leave the barrel of a shotgun.

As a result of the shot, Lutgenau's brother sustained significant injuries and was airlifted to the Princess Alexandra Hospital. The victim survived but had numerous pellets removed from his body. Some pellets had ripped holes in his major organs, including the liver and the stomach.

According to a psychiatric report, about 72 hours prior to the shooting, Lutgenau had been on an ice-taking binge.

When the incident took place about 9am on March 3, 2014, Lutgenau was still under the influence of ice and sleep deprived.

Defence lawyer Steve Kissick said the shooting had not been driven by malice and had "no real degree" of premeditation.

Mr Kissick said his client had a long-standing drug problem and suffered from a personality disorder.

Before she was brought into court, Lutgenau had spent 532 days in jail awaiting a final verdict and sentence on her attack.

Mr Kissick said his client had used her time in prison to rehabilitate herself and was now clean of drugs.

Judge Deborah Richards noted Lutgenau had no previous convictions for violence.

"I accept you were clouded in your thinking when you committed the offence," Judge Richards said.

"Nevertheless, in a case like this, general deterrence is important.

"The discharge of a gun at such close quarters is obviously extremely dangerous.

"The injuries to your brother as a result of the gunshot were extensive and very serious. People need to know if they discharge a loaded firearm at a person, they're going to go to jail."

Lutgenau was also charged with failing to take reasonable care and precautions with relation to a syringe or needle.

She was sentenced to six years in jail and will be eligible for parole after two years.

Topics:  court crime editors picks gun ice ipswich meth


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