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Men denies threatening to kill flatmate

STEVE HOPKINS
Last updated 05:00 05/05/2012

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A man accused of holding a gun to his flatmate's head and threatening to kill him after he told him he was moving out claims the violent incident never happened.

Isaac McLaren appeared in the Papakura District Court earlier this week charged with threatening to kill, common assault and assaulting a person with a firearm and was remanded to re-appear court later this month.

The 25-year-old car groomer was charged after an incident on Sunday at a Papakura flat he shares with his girlfriend Jasmine McCreath, their newborn baby and several flatmates, including the alleged victim, who had temporarily moved in two weeks earlier.

McLaren said he had no issue with his flatmate moving out to live with his sick grandmother in Tauranga because ''we were expecting him to move out, he was only after a temporarily place to stay''.

Earlier this week police said a ''punch-up'' took place after the flatmate gave notice and McLaren emptied a can of air freshener into his room causing him to be sick.

McLaren, the ''head tenant'' at the Tatariki St property, admitted spraying the flatmate's room, ''but only for two seconds... I've got half a can left'' and did so because his flatmate never opened his windows.

He said his flatmate then used the bathroom and he threw a handful of shaving cream in his face when he emerged ''as a joke''.

''Me and my flatmates do that stuff to each other all the time and roughhousing, whether there's alcohol involved or not,'' McLaren said.

The flatmate used the bathroom again to wash his face and McLaren claims he ''came running out of the wash house directly at me roaring like a wild boar''.

McLaren claims his flatmate had a screwdriver in his hand.

He said he grabbed his flatmate's left hand and used his right to push him to the ground where he tried to ''calm him down''.

McLaren said that's where it ended.

The flatmate returned to his room and was later picked up by his parents and moved out, he claims.

But police said: ''Then the victim has gone downstairs and the offender has put a gun to his head and threatened to kill him.''

Police found three air pistols and a number of knives at the property.

McLaren said the guns, an air rifle and two ''baby pellet guns'' were nailed to his bedroom wall and were more ''like an ornament'', although he and his flatmates often shot at cans and bottles and ''when we're drunk dare each other to go outside and be shot with the pellet gun, which doesn't even hurt''.

Within an hour of the incident McLaren said police contacted his girlfriend and he was given explicit instructions to roll-up his sleeves, drop any weapons he had and to walk to the end of his driveway with his hands behind his head. There he claims he was told to lie facedown on the ground and was handcuffed and arrested.

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''I walked down there with a cheeky smile on my face, I thought it was a joke,'' he said.

''It was very blown out of proportion, but I understand if police were told guns were involved they'd do this.''

McLaren said he would defend all the charges.

He's sealed the air freshener can and shaving cream bottle in bags as evidence.

McLaren's flatmate could not be reached for comment.

- Auckland Now

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