Laguna siege: Andrew Kenneth Reading and Natalie Ann Gouverneur in Cessnock Local Court

TENSE: Natalie Ann Gouverneur appeared in Cessnock Local Court on Thursday in relation to a tense eight-hour siege at Laguna on Tuesday night. Thick fog blanketed the remote property during the standoff. Picture: 9 News

TENSE: Natalie Ann Gouverneur appeared in Cessnock Local Court on Thursday in relation to a tense eight-hour siege at Laguna on Tuesday night. Thick fog blanketed the remote property during the standoff. Picture: 9 News

POLICE say Natalie Ann Gouverneur was encouraging and even “motivating” alleged gunman Andrew Kenneth Reading to shoot at police during a tense eight-hour siege at a remote property at Laguna on Tuesday night

But her barrister, David Pullinger, claims Ms Gouverneur was asleep on the couch with her dogs during much of the ordeal and her only confrontation with police was to tell the officers camped outside to identify themselves by “flashing their red and blue lights”.

Those police included heavily armed specialist officers from the tactical operations unit along with an armoured “Bearcat”. 

And after hearing about 20 minutes of a bail application for Ms Gouverneur, Magistrate John Chicken wanted to know more about the strength of the prosecution case before deciding whether to release her or not. 

"The strength of the Crown case would seem to be in a single paragraph in relation to this accused,” Mr Chicken told the police prosecutor, referring to the police facts. 

Ms Gouverner, 46, of Martinsville, appeared in Cessnock Local Court on Thursday dressed in the orange jumper and trackpants she was wearing when she was arrested at the homestead on Murrays Run Road on Wednesday morning.

She pleaded not guilty to discharging a firearm with intent to resist arrest and discharging a firearm with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. 

The court heard the prosecution was relying on the principle of joint criminal enterprise in relation to Ms Gouverneur’s charges. 

"In relation to Ms Gouverneur, police allege that there is sufficient information to confirm she was well aware what was occurring on the presence of police at the location,” Mr Chicken said, reading from the police facts. 

"[Ms Gouverneur] made no efforts to dissuade or prevent the actions of Mr Reading even going so far as to inflame the situation and motivate Mr Reading.

"Where is the evidence in the material for that?"

With nothing more than the police facts to substantiate the allegations, which Mr Chicken said were “incredibly serious”, he adjourned the matter to Friday so police could “flesh out the facts” and he could properly weigh up the strength of the prosecution’s case. 

Mr Reading, who is accused of firing the .243 rifle at police, did not appear in court on Thursday or apply for bail.

The 46-year-old has been charged with discharging a firearm with intent to resist arrest, discharging a firearm with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and two counts of not keeping a firearm safe.

His matter was also adjourned to Friday. 

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