'Happy ending' for man accused of taking gun to plaza
WITH his hands pressed together in a gesture of thanks, Michael John Alderson smiled widely at the jury that had just acquitted him of the attempted robbery of a massage worker at Buderim.
The jury of six men and six women took barely an hour yesterday to find the 20-year-old not guilty of assaulting and threatening to cause violence to Cuc Thi Pham with intent to steal.
Tears of relief welled in the eyes of some of the supporters sitting behind Mr Alderson in the Maroochydore District Court as the verdict was read out.
"I'm just glad the truth came out. I'm glad things have gone well today," he said as he left the court.
Ms Pham and Mr Alderson had given conflicting accounts during a trial of what happened when he visited her at the Buderim Motor Inn on October 24 last year.
Ms Pham, who told the court she provided massage with a "happy ending", claimed he became aggressive when she told him she did not offer "full service".
She said Mr Alderson held a pistol to her head and threatened to shoot if she did not give him money.
Giving evidence in his own defence, Mr Alderson denied threatening Ms Pham with a gun.
He said he had made arrangements by phone to visit Ms Pham for oral sex and had asked for his money back when it became apparent he was not going to get what he thought he had paid for.
He admitted having the 0.32 calibre Colt but said he pulled it out of his shorts in fear only when Ms Pham said she was getting her boss.
Mr Alderson told the court the gun accidentally discharged into cupboard wall as he was leaving.
The loaded gun was in his pocket when he withdrew $11,000 from a bank and went shoe shopping at Sunshine Plaza afterwards, he said.
The court heard he later cut up the pistol with an angle grinder and threw the pieces out of his car on the Bruce Hwy.