DOMENICO NATALE COURT
It was midmorning outside a Melbourne brothel when a "disenchanted" old man in a suit stepped out of his car with a shotgun and fired it twice at a sex worker, a court has heard.
A puff of dust erupted from a brick wall where the first shot hit and the woman appears to cower in shock in the driveway of the Romantics brothel at Brunswick, CCTV footage shows.
Domenico Natale, 88, allegedly fired a second shot in the sex worker's direction as she fled inside about 10am that Friday morning in July 2017.
Natale shot himself in the stomach during his arrest later that day but survived and was charged with attempted murder.
The octogenarian was ordered to stand trial on that charge on Tuesday at the conclusion of a committal hearing in Melbourne Magistrates Court.
Defence lawyer Simon Moglia said the shooting came after a breakdown in a relationship between Natale and the sex worker.
"There was a rejection and clearly Mr Natale was upset by it," he said.
"There was clearly disagreement or a parting of ways between them."
Mr Moglia had argued that an intention to kill could not be established, saying the first shot was fired higher than the woman's head.
"No jury could distinguish between whether this was an intention to scare or an intention to harm," Mr Moglia said.
But after viewing vivid footage of the incident, magistrate Carolyn Burnside found there was sufficient evidence to send Natale to trial.
"There has been CCTV footage which indicated the two shots fired from the double-barrelled shotgun followed the movements of the victim," she said.
The magistrate said text messages sent by Natale provided some insight into his mindset before the alleged shooting.
"There is evidence before me which is indicative of a high level of disenchantment, disappointment and aggression," Ms Burnside said.
Ballistics experts found lead shotgun pellets strewn at the scene and later examined the gun allegedly used by Natale.
The court was told it was a 12-gauge double-barrelled shotgun and the cartridges fired would generally be used for hunting small game.
"It was a bird shot size," Leading Senior Constable Darren Watson said of the pellets.
"Particularly for larger birds."
The expert said shotgun pellets spread after firing and the weapon is often used for hunting moving targets, like birds or small mammals.
"Shotguns come from a time where people used to hunt to survive," he said.
Natale is due to face the Supreme Court on Thursday for a directions hearing.