CHILLING footage of the moment a man pointed a shortened firearm in the face of a Domino's Pizza Smithfield staff member has been released.

Philip Raymond Willich was angry. He had been unable to get a discount when ordering his pizza on the phone.

So he went to the shop to confront the young staff member Isaac Ramsay, and asked him to step outside for a chat on October 21, 2015.

CCTV footage that was played in the Cairns Magistrates Court shows the pair speaking for a few minutes in a public corridor near the store.

A number of bystanders are also seen in the footage.

Police Prosecutor Senior Sergeant Lisa Buchanan said Willich, 53, had wanted an apology.

When it wasn't forthcoming he drew the weapon, which had been concealed under his clothes, and pointed it at Mr Ramsay's head.

"It is the most serious common assault I have seen to obtain an apology for not getting a discount on a takeaway pizza," Snr Sgt Buchanan said.

Philip Raymond Willich points a gun at Domino's Pizza Smithfield staff member to get an apology.
Philip Raymond Willich points a gun at Domino's Pizza Smithfield staff member to get an apology.

"There were not bullets in the firearm.

"It wasn't loaded but the victim wasn't aware of that."

At one point the victim was made to kneel with the gun pointed at his head.


Snr Sgt Buchanan said Mr Ramsay was effectively "begging for his life".

Willich, a builder, pleaded guilty to charges of common assault, deprivation of liberty and possessing a shortened firearm in a public place, as well as unrelated drug charges.

Under Queensland law, Willich must spend at least 12 months in jail because of the weapons charge.

The court was told Mr Ramsay significantly affected by the attack. He has not be able to return to work, he had nightmares, paranoia and has been diagnosed with post traumatic distress disorder.

Defence solicitor Paul Richardson handed up two comprehensive reports about his client, which described Willich has having narcissistic personality traits, high alcoholism and a depressive disorder.


Philip Willich.
Philip Willich.

Mr Richardson argued that Willich should be released after the 12 months.

"The common assault was a very serious example of common assault," Magistrate Alan Comans said, adding that they were also someone calculated.

"(He) committed the assault in the most menacing and frightening way.

"The victim was at one point made to kneel with the firearm at his head."

Mr Comans said the legislation clearly demonstrated how serious it was to possess a shortened weapon in public.

The sentence, Mr Comans said, had to show both general and personal deterrence and the communities denunciation.

"People must be able to go about their business especially when customer satisfaction and dissatisfaction is a part of their daily lives... without the risk of this type of assault," Mr Comans said.

He accepted that Willich's offending was linked to his depressive disorder and that he had made some attempts at rehabilitation.

Willich was jailed for three years with a parole release date after 12 months on July 12 next year.

Convictions were recorded.