A former Lawrence man has appeared in Grafton Local Court to be sentenced for firearm, assault offences.
A former Lawrence man has appeared in Grafton Local Court to be sentenced for firearm, assault offences.

'If I thought I would get away with it I would kill you'

A FORMER police officer who told his wife "if I thought I would get away with it I would kill you" while he assaulted her, has avoided a jail term when sentenced this week.

Gregory John Wheadon, 60, pleaded guilty in Grafton Local Court to possessing a shortened firearm, possessing an unregistered firearm, not keep firearm safely, common assault and intimidation.

According to police facts, police were called to a Lawrence property around 10pm on October 25, 2017, following reports of a verbal argument.

While at the property they were informed of the presence of an unregistered firearm on the property by Wheadon, and after a search found a shortened .22 calibre rifle, a magazine and ammunition, as well as four legal firearms.

The victim told police that two months prior on August 29 she was assaulted by Wheadon during an argument where he grabbed her by the throat and said "if I thought I would get away with it I would kill you".

The victim told police the next day Wheadon said to her "do you know how easy it would be for me to shoot you now and say it was an accident" while he was moving firearms to his vehicle.

In court, Wheadon's solicitor said his client's mental illness played a significant role in his offending, which were a result of the persecution he suffered as a police whistleblower over alleged corruption, and a head injury suffered during an assault in 2013.

Wheadon's solicitor said the firearm was shortened by another person, and when Wheadon found out he was furious and hid the gun away from him.

Wheadon's solicitor said his client knew it (the assault) was the wrong thing to do and was remorseful for his actions.

"Mr Wheadon is now doing the right thing, which is what he's tried to do his entire life, apart from this one time where his mental illness and physical injury were at their worst," the solicitor said.

Magistrate Karen Stafford sentenced Wheadon to a two-year community corrections order.