Global Food and Wine in Paget was in lockdown when a man carrying a replica gun entered the premises.
Global Food and Wine in Paget was in lockdown when a man carrying a replica gun entered the premises. Emma Murray

STAND-OFF: Fake gun, real peril in Paget

A TRUCK driver went to his Paget workplace armed with a gun in a desperate move to recoup what he believed was up to $30,000 in stolen wages.

First the Carmila man lured manager Darryl Caracciolo and administration worker Susan Gravino into an office inside Global Food and Wine Mackay under the pretence of handing over paperwork.

Then Robert Keith Hansen pulled out a replica weapon and pointed it at his own head.

"Come on Bob you don't want to do this," Mr Caracciolo told him.

Terrified and in disbelief, Ms Gravino quickly left the office and told her colleagues "Get out, ring police, Bob's got a gun."

The 61 year old closed the door trapping Mr Caracciolo in the office with him; the handgun still aimed towards his own throat.

 

 

Global Food and Wine in Paget was in lockdown when a man carrying a replica gun entered the premises in March.
Global Food and Wine in Paget was in lockdown when a man carrying a replica gun entered the premises in March. Emma Murray

Details of the siege at the Caterpillar Dr building on March 11 this year have been revealed in Mackay Magistrates Court during a sentencing hearing for Hansen on charges of dangerous conduct with a weapon and deprivation of liberty.

Prosecutor Robert Beamish said Hansen demanded a conference call with head office in Brisbane and the Australian Federal Police "because he wanted Global Food and Wine charged with stealing for not paying him properly".

The court heard Hansen had been involved in a wages dispute with the statewide company since the second half of 2018.

He was earning about $1000 per week and after speaking with other truck drivers believed he should be paid $1600 per week. He took the case to the Fair Work Ombudsman in an attempt to be back paid without success and the matter was still unresolved.

Global Food and Wine in Paget was in lockdown when a man carrying a replica gun entered the premises in March.
Global Food and Wine in Paget was in lockdown when a man carrying a replica gun entered the premises in March. Emma Murray

Mr Beamish said Hansen went on medical leave following a breakdown in November 2018 and was only receiving $260 per week.

Extreme financial stress built up over several months and resulted in him driving to his rural property and retrieving the replica gun.

The court heard at no time was the weapon pointed at anyone other than Hansen.

Solicitor Natalie Simonsen, of Barron and Allen Lawyers, said a psychiatrist report stated Hansen's mental state had a significant impact on his actions on March 11.

She told the court Hansen found out he had been underpaid $10 an hour "for some 19 months, which he calculated to be a loss of some $20,000 to $30,000".

"(He) did not intend to actually physically hurt anyone," Ms Simonsen said, adding that her client had "felt very desperate" believing his case was being stalled by the company.

Global Food and Wine on Caterpillar Drive in Paget was in lockdown when an armed man entered the premises. Local police alleviated the situation and the man was taken into custody.
Global Food and Wine on Caterpillar Drive in Paget was in lockdown when an armed man entered the premises. Local police alleviated the situation and the man was taken into custody. Emma Murray

Magistrate James Morton said the two victims "weren't to know that".

"He's turned up with a gun that looks like a real gun ... they must have been absolutely scared," Mr Morton said.

"They thought this gun was real and he reinforced that to them saying, 'I checked it this morning, it works'.

"That reinforced to them that he's willing to use this and it's a real gun."

The court heard Mr Caracciolo wrote in a victim impact statement he had been more worried Hansen would shoot himself, but he did feel threatened.

Police were called when a man held a replica gun to his head.
Police were called when a man held a replica gun to his head. Emma Murray

"My client cooperated with police after 15 minutes of negotiation," Ms Simonsen said, adding he also entered early pleas as soon as a mental health assessment deemed him fit to stand trial.

She said Hansen suffered both mental and chronic physical health issues that would make a custodial sentence more difficult.

Mr Beamish pushed for 12 to 18 months jail with actual time to serve, while Ms Simonsen argued for a wholly suspended sentence or immediate parole.

Hansen also pleaded guilty to producing dangerous drugs after police found two marijuana plants while searching his property.

Mr Morton remanded Hansen in custody and adjourned the case until today for sentence.

Global Food and Wine in Paget was in lockdown when a man carrying a replica gun entered the premises in March.
Global Food and Wine in Paget was in lockdown when a man carrying a replica gun entered the premises in March. Emma Murray

GET HELP

If you need to talk phone:

■ Lifeline: 13 11 14

■ MensLine: 1300 789 978

■ Beyondblue: 1300 224 636

■ Headspace Mackay: 4898 2200



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