A man allegedly shot a woman with a semi-automatic rifle near Pyramid Hill because he believed he was again being robbed, a court has heard.
Abdul Elraoui, 69, was released on bail on Wednesday after appearing in the Bendigo Magistrates' Court on charges of reckless conduct endangering life, intentionally causing injury and using a firearm as a prohibited person.
Detective Senior Constable Matthew McCormack told the court two men and a woman reversed a vehicle up the driveway of Mr Elraoui's property in the early hours of Tuesday morning and parked near his house.
One man remained in the car, he said, while the other man and the woman began to look around the front yard.
The court heard Mr Elraoui awoke to a disturbance about 3am and saw the lights of mobile phones outside.
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It was alleged he armed himself with a .223 semi-automatic assault rifle hanging on the back door and went outside.
Mr Elraoui allegedly asked, "What are you doing here?" to which a female voice replied they had taken a wrong turn.
Mr Elraoui then allegedly fired two shots at one of the phone lights.
The woman was hit in the left back rib area and the left tricep.
She and the man fled to the car, which took off at speed down the driveway.
It was alleged Mr Elraoui then fired another two shots at the fleeing vehicle, which was travelling at such a speed the driver was unable to take the corner out of the property correctly and crashed into a neighbour's gate.
The neighbour called triple zero and the woman was taken to Bendigo Health, where she underwent surgery.
The court heard she had suffered probable serious injury.
DSC McCormack said Mr Elraoui handed himself into police and made "full and frank" admissions that were consistent with the observations of investigators.
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Mr Elraoui told police he had been the victim of numerous thefts and attempted thefts in recent months, he said, and he intended to injure the person so he could call police to arrest them.
DSC McCormack said Mr Elraoui had his dog, a generator, a chainsaw and other tools stolen last month, which was the only incident reported to police.
The court heard Mr Elraoui did not hold a firearms licence.
He told police he bought the unregistered rifle from a deceased estate about 15 years ago.
DSC McCormack said police were concerned Mr Elraoui had access to other firearms, including a .22 rifle he had previously owned legally which was unaccounted for.
He said there were numerous places on the property where a firearm could be stored, and Mr Elraoui also had knives and machetes in various locations.
DSC McCormack said Mr Elraoui did not pose a threat to the public away from his property and appeared to be a respectable person, but his stance on whether he had the right to defend his property in such a way had not changed.
Mr Elraoui's son gave evidence to the court that his father suffered numerous health problems including diabetes, bladder issues, high blood pressure, severe back pain, deep vein thrombosis and arthritis.
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He said his father was robbed four times in the past month, including on one occasion when offenders entered his home while he was asleep.
He said Mr Elraoui had lived at the property about 18 years without issue and this incident only arose because he was in fear for his life.
Defence lawyer Kate Youngson said her client did what he thought was right at the time, but had since come to understand this was not the case.
She said Mr Elraoui was emphatic that he did not know the location of the missing .22 rifle.
Magistrate Megan Aumair granted Mr Elraoui bail, noting the reported thefts and that his health conditions made him more vulnerable in custody.
But she ordered that he live with his son in Sunshine and only return to his property in the company of a family member or police.
Mr Elraoui was also ordered to seek mental health treatment and was prohibited from possessing or using a firearm.
He will return to court on October 2.
Police also arrested two men and interviewed them regarding the alleged attempted theft. Enquiries are ongoing.
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