ACT News

Man who aided Hughes shooter freed after sentencing for arson threat, stalking

A man who drove his shotgun-wielding friend away from a 2010 shooting is free and likely to leave Canberra after being sentenced for unrelated crimes on Monday.

Todd Elphick, 28, was sentenced for threatening to torch his ex-partner's mother's car, stalking her, and breaching court orders she and her family had taken out.

Those crimes took place while Elphick was on bail for helping Kai Yuen get away from a crime scene in 2010. 

Yuen had just murdered his old friend Brendan Scott Welsh, 28, behind the Hughes shops, blasting him with a shotgun in the culmination of a tit-for-tat argument between the pair. 

Elphick knew Yuen had discharged the firearm and drove him from the scene, stopping briefly in Deakin to allow him to throw the shotgun, two spent shells, and four live shells down a drain. 

Elphick served 225 days for that crime, which expired back in July 2013.

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But he has been in custody since then over the unrelated crimes involving his ex-partner, who he'd acrimoniously split with in 2012, sparking a custody dispute.

He was sentenced on Monday to two years and four months imprisonment for stalking, breaching two court orders, and for threatening to torch the mother's car. 

But Justice Richard Refshauge suspended the sentence from Monday, meaning Elphick was freed from prison. 

The ACT Supreme Court has heard he wishes to leave Canberra and start a new life in northern NSW, with his supporting family. 

Elphick was placed on a good behaviour order for two years, preventing him from contacting his ex-girlfriend or her family, and placing him under supervision. 

Justice Refshauge told him he needed to deal with his drug problems, poor anger management, and mental health issues through counselling. 

He said the court was entitled to be sceptical about Elphick's claims to want a new life, but said leaving Canberra and his ex-partner would likely be good for him.

"I hope that this opportunity means you will be able to continue your work [and] you'll be able to avoid falling back into further criminality that has blighted your life," he said.

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