A Newnham man who shot through the window of a Hadspen house with a high-powered rifle as part of an ongoing dispute with his ex-girlfriend over a mattress has been jailed for 22 months.
Dylan Maxwell Cocker, 28, pleaded guilty to a count of recklessly discharging a firearm on March 5 and 6 this year.
Cocker also pleaded guilty to several firearms charges including possession of a Brno .22 rifle and 180 .22 rounds, 101 12-gauge shotgun rounds and other high-calibre rounds and driving charges.
Justice Robert Pearce said it was not the first time Cocker had been in trouble for assaulting former female partners.
A plea hearing was told that Cocker was driving through Launceston when he spotted his ex-girlfriend and another man in a car.
He tried to get them to pull over so he could confront her about a disputed mattress. When they did not pull over he followed them to a home in Kipling Crescent, Hadspen.
The mother of the woman's new boyfriend gestured for him to leave and as though she was going to ring police.
Cocker sent a series of abusive texts from 9.42pm to 10.26pm before returning later.
"The accused and an unknown male returned in a car and the unknown man fired a .22 Brno rifle with a silencer owned by the accused through a car breaking two windows and then struck the house," crown prosecutor Claire Darvell said.
There were four people in the house at the time.
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He then sent a further three text messages to the ex-girlfriend's phone.
He was charged as an aider and abetter despite not firing the shot.
At 8.45am the next morning Cocker returned to the address alone.
He parked 15-20 metres away and approached the house and saw a man sitting on his bed with a dog who he thought was his ex-girlfriend's new partner.
The man pulled the curtains back and Cocker briefly considered shooting the dog but then altered his aim so that the bullet smashed the window in the top corner.
The bullet travelled through the window and through a bedroom wall into a second bedroom.
The glass fell close to the man but the dog was not hurt.
After arrest police raided his home finding the ammunition and the firearm, with a scope and a silencer, and a bullet in the breach.
He told police that for a second he had thought about shooting the dog.
Cocker had relevant prior convictions which included two common assaults of an ex-partner in 2011 and injuring property. One of the assaults was by spitting.
In 2012 he was convicted of the aggravated assault of an ex-girlfriend by pointing a firearm at her and smashing the weapon on the bonnet of the car she was sitting in. He received a month's jail and had two months' jail suspended in the Launceston Magistrates Court.
In July this year, he was found guilty of assaulting the most recent ex-girlfriend by punching her, grabbing her jumper pulling her into a car and depriving her of her liberty.
He received a three-month sentence from a magistrate with two months suspended.
Justice Pearce that there was a very real chance of someone being shot through a faulty aim or if for some reason the bullet diverted from its path.
He said the incident would have been very frightening for people in the house and the effects would be felt for a long time.
Justice Pearce said that the sentence needed to be a warning to the community about the seriousness of using firearms in the context of a relationship breakdown.
The sentence was backdated to April 6 and a non-parole period of 11 months was set.
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