Bendigo man jailed for shooting a man in the knee with a sawn-off shotgun near Melton

A BENDIGO man who shot a man in the knee with a sawn-off shotgun before stealing his car has been jailed for four years.

Rougen McLoughlin, 21, pleaded guilty in the Bendigo County Court on Monday to recklessly causing serious injury and armed robbery.

The court heard McLoughlin travelled to Kurunjang, in Melton, from Bendigo in the early hours of December 8 last year to steal money and drugs from the victim.

He was not responsible for the plan to rob the victim and threaten him with the gun, the court was told.

When the victim came to the car, McLoughlin panicked and shot him in the right knee.

The victim collapsed to the ground while McLoughlin drove away in his ute.

The victim’s girlfriend witnessed the shooting and comforted him until paramedics arrived. He required surgery, and suffered tissue and nerve damage.

McLoughlin claimed he did not intend to shoot the victim, and only fired the gun in his general direction.

The court heard McLoughlin grew up in a drug-taking environment and started drinking alcohol at the age of eight, and smoking cannabis when aged 11. He developed a heroin addiction by the age of 15.

He is currently serving an eight-month prison sentence for unrelated assault offences.

Judge Jane Patrick said even if McLoughlin did not plan the incident, it remained a serious example of armed robbery.

“You were prepared to go along with the plan,” she said.

“You pulled the trigger and caused serious injuries with ongoing consequences.

“You then drove off without rendering assistance to the man.

“I accept you pulled the trigger in a somewhat panicked state, not as a result of any cold hard intention to cause serious injury.”

Judge Patrick said McLoughlin’s prospects for rehabilitation were limited, given his extensive drug and alcohol use, and subsequent offending.

McLoughlin was jailed for four years with a non-parole period of two years and three months.