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'No suggestion he shot his mum': Son refused bail over mother's death


A man charged over the death of his mother found with a gunshot wound after a firearm discharged at a Brisbane northern suburbs home has been refused bail.

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Christian Dino Lawlor, 22, appeared in Brisbane Magistrates Court on Friday charged with the manslaughter of his mother Giustina Katerina Lawlor, drug offences and possessing ammunition.

The court was told part-time factory worker had been restoring an unregistered .22 calibre rimfire rifle at the family home in Taigum.

He had discharged and cleaned the weapon on Friday, May 7, leaving a live round in the chamber.

It was suggested the gun was then stored in the laundry in a bag under a blanket where the weapon discharged when it was moved the next day, striking Giustina Lawlor.

Several family members were at the home when they heard the shot and heard her cry out before finding her body on the laundry floor with fluid around her mouth.

An ambulance was called, but she could not be revived.

It was only when an initial pathology report was completed that the bullet wound was located.

Defence lawyer Nick Dore sought bail for Lawlor, which was strongly opposed by police prosecutions.

“There is no suggestion that my client has shot anyone – not by any stretch of the imagination,” Dore said.

“My understanding is that this is a case of negligence, by having the gun in the bag where the gun has been stored.

“The mum has moved the bag and been shot.

“There is no suggestion that my client has shot his mother.”

However, police prosecutor Sergeant Mark Hughes said it was the prosecution case that Lawlor had wilfully shot the gun, a suggestion disputed by Dore in court.

“If he had shot her. It would not be manslaughter. It would be murder,” Dore said.

He said Lawlor was “deeply distressed” over his mother’s death and had threatened to take his own life after the tragedy.

Magistrate Suzette Coates was critical of the police objection to bail, saying the police facts supplied to the court were “very confusing”.

“It’s a bit hard to say because the facts are imprecise. They are often contradictory in essence,” she said.

“It is impossible for me to make any determination of facts.”

But she denied Lawlor’s bail application, saying there was a risk he would approach family members.

“The circumstances of your mother’s death related to a weapon that was obviously yours.

“You told the police that on that afternoon, you located the bag and firearm in the laundry basket outside the back door of the laundry.

“You checked the weapon and located a spent shell in the chamber, and removed it.

“The issue is all your family who were home at the time were witnesses in his matter.

“There is a real risk that you may interfere with those witnesses in this matter, and therefore bail will be refused.”

Family members were in the arrests court and declined to speak to media afterwards.

Lawlor was remanded in custody for a committal mention on June 21.

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