Man admits holding woman at gunpoint after drug bender

Cheryl Goodenough |

When Steven Anthony Salafia’s advances were rejected he armed himself with a gun and kept a woman at his mercy for hours after a four-day sleepless drug bender.

The now 31-year-old made it clear during a one-year friendship that he wanted an intimate relationship but the woman refused before blocking him on social media, a Queensland court has been told.

After his phone calls and texts were ignored Salafia knocked on the door of the woman’s house one evening in January 2021, returning when she told him to go away.

The final time he had a firearm, appeared intoxicated and erratic and threatened to shoot the woman and her partner, prosecutor Mitch Whelan said on Thursday.

“He held the gun up and said, ‘I should blow your f***ing head off’.”

The woman drove from her house to ensure Salafia left but “for some bizarre reason” allowed the armed man to get in her car, Brisbane District Court Judge Katherine McGinness said.

With his finger on the trigger Salafia pointed the gun at the woman, telling her to drive to Chermside in Brisbane’s north.

She shook and cried as she drove to his house where he appeared to load the gun before keeping her in the car for four to five hours.

Salafia threatened to kill the woman, said he loved her and apologised and put the gun to his throat before telling her to pull the trigger and kill him.

He warned of getting into a shootout with police while holding her hostage.

Each time the woman begged to return home to her children he pointed the gun at her and became agitated.

She drove away when Salafia went into his house.

He was arrested at home with a sawn-off shotgun, telling police he had been on an ice bender for four days without sleep.

The court was told Salafia had a very traumatic upbringing and an extensive criminal history.

There was significant risk of physical harm to the woman because of Salafia’s intoxication and the weapon, Judge McGinness said.

“You essentially kept the complainant at your mercy over a number of hours,” she told Salafia.

Judge McGinness took into account his guilty pleas, saying they saved the woman the trauma of testifying in court.

“It shows an acceptance of responsibility by you for your actions,” she told Salafia.

She handed down a head sentence of four years behind bars, suspended after the 493 days Salafia has spent in custody since his arrest.