Man cops four years after shooting rifle into taxi

A MAN who fired a rifle into the back of a taxi with three occupants inside was on Thursday sentenced in Gladstone District Court to four-and-a-half years imprisonment.

Around 3am on July 7, 2013 John Eric Lamport was in the company of two women on Yarroon St in Gladstone CBD when he discharged the weapon, narrowly missing one of the occupants of the vehicle.

The 0.22 calibre bullets became lodged in the back passenger seat of the taxi.

The offence occurred while Lamport was on bail for an assault charge.

He faced court to answer to six charges, including one count of unlawful possession of a weapon, one count of acts intended to cause grievous bodily harm, as well as drug offences.

A victim impact statement written by one of the female occupants of the taxi was submitted during Thursday's sentencing process.

Judge David Reid, who presided over the case, said the statement had resonated strongly.

The court heard the woman, formerly a fly-in, fly-out Curtis Island worker, had become increasingly reclusive and fearful following the offence.

Describing herself before the incident as a confident and happy individual, the year since had transformed her into an emotional and isolated shell of her former self, afraid of getting into a taxi.

Appearing in court in a green tracksuit after travelling from Capricornia Correctional Facility, the drug-affected decisions of that night had prevented 26-year-old Lamport from meeting his first child, now four months old.

Defence barrister David Murray outlined the defendant's extensive criminal history, in which illicit substances were prominent.

Mr Murray told the court Lamport had relocated to Gladstone, "what is arguably the amphetamine capital of Queensland", to remove himself from the wrong crowd he had been engaging with in Sydney.

In effect, he will not be leaving central Queensland until his parole release date on January 5, 2015.

The motivation behind Lamport's actions on July 7, 2013 remain unclear, as he was in the throes of a four-day drug and alcohol binge.

Judge David Reid said the court system could only take a very serious view on what he described as a "ridiculously dangerous offence".

He urged Lamport to take control of his life, saying his prospects for rehabilitation could not be described as excellent.

Topics:  drugs gladstone district court jail rifle shooting

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