'Collateral damage': Girl, 13, shot in backside in home invasion
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'Collateral damage': Girl, 13, shot in backside in home invasion

A home invasion in which a 13-year-old girl was shot in the backside was the product of long-simmering animosity between two former partners in a drug dealing business, a dispute that came to a head shortly before the shooting, prosecutors told a jury Tuesday.

Prosecutors said the girl was by all accounts a "good kid" who did well at school. "The Crown says she was collateral damage in a dispute that had nothing to do with her," the prosecutor Anthony Williamson said.

On February 10, 2017, the girl was home with her five-year-old sister watching television while her mother and her mother’s partner, who have not been named to protect the girl's identity, went for a drive to pick up McDonald's and cannabis, the jury heard at the opening of the trial.

While the girl's mother and partner were out on their food and drug run, the partner saw his estranged business partner, Cassie Ogle, who he claimed owed him money.

He told the jury that he started "being a smart arse", by swerving in front of Ms Ogle's car and slowing down.

He said Ms Ogle rammed into the back of his car. He said he pulled on the handbrake, got out of his car and grabbed the keys from her ignition. "What the f--k are you doing you dumb slut," he said he told her, or words to that effect.

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The man told the ACT Supreme Court that he drove off, throwing Ms Ogle's car keys out the window. But prosecutors suggested Ms Ogle did not see him throw them away.

The Crown says Ms Ogle was furious. It says she called her boyfriend Nathan Brian Stretton, 23, and his mate Reece Salcedo, 20, and dispatched them to collect her keys.

Moments later, on the Crown case, Mr Stretton and Mr Salcedo turned up to the home on Matson Street, Gordon, armed with at least one shotgun. Declined entry the first time, prosecutors allege the pair forced themselves into the home by breaking a screen door off its hinges.

Giving evidence that was at times colourful, the man said one of the intruders pointed the shotgun at the 13-year-old’s head and demanded the keys.

The man said he told the intruder, “you’re f--king dead, c--t”, and starting beating him with a metal pole. Prosecutors say the gun discharged and the girl was shot in the back and buttocks.

While he was beating the man the Crown suggest was Mr Salcedo, it's alleged Mr Stretton shot the man. The man said he heard a bang and then turned to see a "massive hole in my arm". “You f--king shot me,” he said.

The two intruders fled.

Mr Stretton and Mr Salcedo are on trial charged with aggravated burglary, intentionally inflicting grievous bodily harm, threatening to cause grievous bodily harm and using a threatening weapon in circumstances likely to endanger human life.

The pair have pleaded not guilty.

Under cross-examination by Mr Stretton's barrister James Stewart, the alleged victim agreed that no one had mentioned Ms Ogle's name when demanding the car keys. He also denied he owed people money as a result of his drug dealing business. He said it was not correct that sometimes he would stay at his business partner's house because they were scared.

Opening to the jury earlier, Mr Williamson said they would hear from a neighbour who heard gunshots that night and then saw two young men run to a red Holden Commodore and do a burnout as they sped away.

He said Mr Salcedo owned the exact same model and colour of Commodore, and police later found gunshot residue when they seized and tested his car.

Mr Williamson also said when Mr Salcedo later spoke to police his story dramatically changed from not knowing what he was doing that day, to knowing, but refusing to say because he was “too loyal to his boys”.

The trial continues.

Alexandra Back is a reporter with The Canberra Times

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