North Queensland man pleads guilty to home invasion while brandishing loaded gun with 2yo present



A young North Queensland mother says she lives in fear and her sleep is constantly affected after a former partner forced his way into her home, brandishing a loaded gun.

Prosecutors told the Mackay District Court that the accused, 28-year-old Mark Brenton Payne, went to his former partner’s house in October last year after a series of text messages where he said “that’s it, now I hate you”.

“After she replied, he then said ‘now I’m going to show you why you should show me some respect’,” prosecutor Ben Jackson said.

“I tried being nice now, you asked for this.”

The lengthy exchange also included the woman asking for space and eventually blocking his number.

Home invaded

The court heard Payne tried to push his way through a locked screen door and then lifted his shirt to show the chrome handle of a gun.

Prosecutors said the woman ran to the back door of the house but Brenton was able to get in, began waving the gun around, and then ran outside.

The woman’s two-year-old daughter was sitting just metres away on the couch.

After Payne left the house, two shots were heard, but prosecutors said it was not clear or identified where they were aimed.

Days later, police negotiators were called to an address where Payne was staying, with officers uncovering parts of guns and ammunition.

“It was clear that markings had been removed from a number of the pistol parts,” Mr Jackson said.

“Mr Payne presents as a very serious risk to the community.

“He obtained a gun, and that in itself is a very serious concern — that he has the capacity to obtain a gun, to store them, and that he took that gun to a location of a person he had a relationship with.”

Judge Deborah Richards agreed the actions were serious.

Defence barrister Scott McClennan said his client only went to the house because the woman did not respond to his calls and texts.

History of threats and violence

Payne was subsequently charged with weapons, burglary, and domestic violence offences.

The court was told he had an already extensive and concerning criminal history, eight pages in length.

In 2017, he went to a home of a woman he knew, with another person, in another home invasion, and took the woman’s dog which had never been found.

Prosecutor Ben Jackson said that during his relationship with the later victim he made serious, violent threats.

“He previously threatened to melt the complainant’s face off with caustic soda while he was under the influence of the dangerous drug methylamphetamine,” Mr Jackson said.

He argued there were “bleak prospects” of Payne being rehabilitated.

Judge Richards acknowledged his substance addiction, outlined by his defence barrister.

Payne also served jail time in New South Wales prior to 2019 for common assault, stalking, and other offences.

Ongoing impacts

Part of the woman’s victim impact statement was read to the court which the prosecutor said had very significant impacts on her life.

“Any loud noises she will scream, and she often has nightmares and wakes crying,” Mr Jackson said.

“Even during her sleep Mr Payne is affecting her in her life.”

Payne plead guilty to a range of offences and will be sentenced in December, with Judge Richards ordering a series of psychiatric reports be prepared and presented.

Judge Richards will also consider submissions from Payne’s barrister that he has been diagnosed with foetal alcohol syndrome and ADHD.

He has also completed an anger management course while in custody.



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