A Kyabram man charged with shooting at police has been granted bail.By Darren Linton
A Kyabram man accused of assaulting a paramedic and then firing at police has been granted bail.
Kevin Cahill, 32, had been in custody since he was arrested and charged on December 28.
Police formally opposed his application for bail at Shepparton Magistrates’ Court on Monday.
Detective Leading Senior Constable John Mussetti from the Armed Crime Task Force gave evidence that two of the shots fired on the night were aimed at police.
Det Mussetti said an ambulance was called to treat Mr Cahill, who was reported to be affected by alcohol and prescription drugs, in a semi-conscious state and unresponsive.
When paramedics entered a shed behind the house, Mr Cahill is accused of grabbing the male paramedic in a headlock and kneeing him in the chest, fracturing two ribs.
A female paramedic tried unsuccessfully to separate the pair.
‘‘He was only released after agreeing not to treat him,’’ Det Mussetti said.
The court was told the paramedics retreated and called police.
By the time officers arrived Mr Cahill had relocated to the main house.
‘‘As they knocked on the front door, he used a shotgun to smash a small glass window and fire,’’ Det Mussetti said.
Police retreated and three more shots were allegedly fired from a .243 calibre rifle before he surrendered.
During a search of the house the next day, police recovered seven firearms including the shotgun, which was loaded, as well as a sword and bayonet.
Det Mussetti said all the firearms were registered and Mr Cahill was licensed.
The ambulance trolley was also retrieved from the shed as well as a drug bag, which had been removed and hidden.
Under cross-examination, Det Mussetti said some of the shots were fired randomly into the air.
But he said the shotgun blast was fired in the general direction of police and preliminary ballistics showed one round from the high-powered rifle was deliberately aimed at officers, striking a divisional van they were taking cover behind.
‘‘Lucky for the police members it hit the B pillar, which is the thickest structural part,’’ he said.
Det Mussetti said while Mr Cahill — once he sobered up — was pleasant to deal with and remorseful, he had been an alcoholic for 17 years and there was a concern about what might happen if he drinks again.
‘‘This is more than likely an out-of-character incident, but I’m concerned about his heavy consumption of alcohol,’’ he said.
‘‘I’m not prepared to be the person who takes a gamble on him not doing it again.’’
Defence lawyer Luke Slater said Mr Cahill was employed, had good support and was willing to seek immediate treatment for his alcohol issues if released.
Mr Slater said his client had no criminal history, had not had a similar episode in 17 years of heavy drinking and was the main financial contributor to the household he shared with his partner and four children.
‘‘I’m aware that he might have a mortgage, but so do the police members he shot at,’’ Det Mussetti replied.
Mr Cahill took the witness box to give evidence on his own behalf, saying he expected a jail sentence for what he had done, but he would use bail to seek treatment and ensure his family was cared for.
Mr Cahill said he was shocked by what had occurred and he realised he had to address his alcohol problem.
‘‘I’m going to lose everything over it – house, family, job, everything we’ve worked for,’’ he said.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Les Oroszvary asked why this would be any different to the 100 times he had tried and failed before.
‘‘This is serious, this one has scared the shit out of me,’’ he said.
Magistrate Stella Stuthridge said bail was never risk free and the refusal was about whether there was an unacceptable risk, not whether risk had been eliminated.
Ms Stuthridge placed several conditions on bail, including attending a doctor within 72 hours, complying with directions for treatment and not drinking alcohol.
Mr Cahill’s partner was also asked to sign a written commitment to the court to call police if he consumed alcohol.
No plea has been made at this stage and the case has been adjourned until March 18 when Mr Cahill is due to appear again at Shepparton Magistrates’ Court.
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