Canberra drug dealer claims he was shot three times over rumors he was a ‘child violinist’

A Canberra drug dealer who was shot in the face during a home invasion last year says he was targeted by people who thought he was a paedophile.

The ACT Supreme Court heard the man was accused of being a ‘child violinist’ before he was shot three times at a house in Spence, north Canberra, on March 11, 2021.

The man said he went to a friend’s house in the early hours of the morning after “catching up with people on drugs”.

He said Sugimatatihuna Bernard Gabriel Mena, 24, Bradley Joe Roberts, 24, and Rebecca Dulcie Parlov, 25, then all stormed his friend’s house to “beat” him.

Mr Mena was charged with attempted murder while Mr Roberts and Ms Parlov were each charged with aggravated burglary.

They all pleaded not guilty.

The man told the court he had armed himself with a knife for protection and was ready to ‘unite’ with the trio when they showed up at the house.

“I was going to stab them,” he said, before adding that at no time did he use or attempt to use the knife on any of the three.

He alleged that it was Mr. Mena who pulled the trigger, shooting him three times and wounding him in the face, stomach and arm.

He also told the court that Mr. Mena, Mr. Roberts and Ms. Parlov were all known to him through his drug dealings.

Once injured, the man said he retired to the bathroom to call a friend to take him to the emergency room at Calvary Hospital.

The friend he had called was Mrs. Parlov’s brother.

Defense says finger was mispointed

During cross-examination, defense attorneys showed the court text conversations between the victim and his then-partner.

The messages showed the man had demanded $750 from the woman, telling her he had to pay for the bikes or they would hurt her.

The defense told the man that the reason he showed up at the hospital instead of calling the police when he was shot was that he was “afraid of bikers”.

“No, I don’t like the police,” the man replied.

He then confessed that the messages he sent to his ex-girlfriend were all lies.

“I made up everything I wanted to get money out of him because I’m a demon,” he said.

“I was a drug addict…I lied to him.”

The defense also explained to the victim that he had falsely accused Mr. Mena of being the shooter because it was easier than having to point fingers elsewhere.

But the man said, “No, I saw him do…I saw him walk through the door,” referring to Mr. Mena.

The trial is expected to last seven days.

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