Tyrone Tuli pleads guilty to Australia Day shooting

Newcastle courthouse.
Newcastle courthouse.

A YOUNG couple who were racially abused and threatened outside a Mayfield unit block were then shot at twice in broad daylight before being told “you know what happens to dogs right?”

“I’ve got a bullet for you,” Tyrone Tuli, 21, told the pair before raising a black pistol and firing two shots in Hanbury Street about 1.35pm on Australia Day this year. 

Minutes earlier, Tuli’s mother had made a similar threat, telling the 21-year-old female victim: “I’ve got a bullet for you. Black s---. It’s Australia Day”. 

Tuli, of Hanbury Street, appeared in Newcastle Local Court via audio visual link from Goulburn Correctional Centre on Wednesday.

His solicitor, John Anthony, entered guilty pleas to five offences, including firing a firearm in a public place, using an offensive weapon with intent to commit an indictable offence and supplying an indictable quantity of MDMA.

Tuli will appear in Newcastle District Court next week to get a sentence date. 

The two victims and Tuli and his family had been involved in a long-running dispute that exploded into threats of violence and racial abuse on Australia Day. 

The trouble started when the female victim took a shortcut through the unit block on Hanbury Street and was confronted by Tuli’s mother and her friend. 

“I’ve got a bullet for you,” Tuli’s mother said, according to an agreed statement of facts that was tendered in court. “You black s---. It’s Australia Day.” 

The victim replied: “There’s no need for weapons, let’s have a go one on one. Who cares if it’s Australia Day, what’s your point?”

The female victim’s boyfriend, who had previously been involved in disputes with Tuli’s family and friends, appeared and tried to walk his girlfriend away from the situation, according to the agreed statement of facts.

But as they started to leave, Tuli approached from behind and said: “You f---ing dogs. I’ve got a bullet for you”.

He raised his right hand and pointed a black firearm at the couple before firing two shots, sending the pair scrambling for safety behind a box trailer. 

Tuli then ran back into the unit complex and, about two minutes later, was picked up in a silver Holden Commodore. 

Four males got out of the car and told the victims: “you know what happens to dogs right?” before they left.

Police were called and searched Tuli’s bedroom where they located an imitation pistol, 99 MDMA pills and $3690 in cash.