A Sydney police officer who pointed his gun towards a colleague after warning him not to reveal spoilers about the movie Top Gun: Maverick has been handed a two-year good behaviour bond and a conviction.
- Dominic Gaynor was working behind the counter at Day Street Police Station
- The complainant has left the force following the incident
- NSW Police earlier this week said Gaynor remained suspended without pay
Constable Dominic Francis Gaynor was working behind the counter at Day Street Police Station, in the CBD, in May.
According to court documents the complainant, 26-year-old Probationary Constable Morgan Royston, saw the Tom Cruise blockbuster the previous night and told Gaynor: “I’ll spoil it for you.”
The agreed facts state Gaynor, 30, then laughed as a different colleague left the room and said: “Don’t spoil the movie, c***”.
Gaynor is also quoted as saying: “I’ll shoot you.”
The agreed facts say Gaynor then took his Glock out of its holster.
“He pointed his firearm at the vicinity of the complainant and held it stationary for five seconds,” the documents say.
“The offender’s finger was on the receiver and not the trigger. The offender was laughing throughout this incident.”
Gaynor pleaded guilty to carrying a firearm with disregard for the complainant’s safety.
Complainant quit force over incident
On Thursday, Mr Royston, who has since left the force, became emotional in Downing Centre Local Court as he described falling into depression following the incident.
He recalled wanting to become a police officer and being aware of serious dangers and many challenges the job could entail.
Mr Royston said it was common for juniors to “share jokes and tease each other”, but he would never forget the “overwhelming shock and fear” he felt.
The court heard he previously regarded the station as a “home base” away from danger, but that was replaced with anxiety and hyper vigilance.
“I have completely lost the trust I had and my admiration for the NSW Police Force,” he said, reading from a victim impact statement.
“When I see a police officer now, I feel compelled to watch them and check their hand is not on their firearm.”
‘This is going to cost him dearly’
Gaynor’s counsel, Chris Micali, said his client made an awful mistake and acknowledged the misuse of the weapon could have had serious consequences.
But he said there was no malicious intent to scare or intimidate.
“This is a case where the skylarking and tomfoolery in an employment context has gone awry,” Mr Micali told the court.
A conviction would “definitely see him removed from the police force”, Mr Micali said, and his client was remorseful.
“This is going to cost him dearly.”
Alison Graylin, for the Director of Public Prosecutions, submitted the court would take a “very dim view” of the so-called skylarking.
The community placed a great deal of trust in armed police officers, she said.
“The victim was as entitled to that trust as any lay person in the community.”
In sentencing, Magistrate Michael Maher noted the “power imbalance” between the defendant and his more junior colleague.
He had regard to several character references which painted Gaynor positively, suggesting there had been “an unfortunate lapse of judgement” which was “not representative of his true character”.
Magistrate Maher said a police officer was entitled to carry a firearm but doing so was “a great responsibility”.
He placed Gaynor on a Community Corrections Order for two years, handed him 100 hours of community service, and recorded a conviction.
Earlier this week, NSW Police said Gaynor remained suspended without pay.
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-11-09/nsw-cop-pointed-gun-top-gun-spoilers/103086628 NSW police officer Dominic Gaynor sentenced for pointing gun towards colleague over Top Gun: Maverick spoilers