Vic ex-cop says gun claim is 'rubbish'

A former Melbourne police officer says he was terrified when a colleague responsible for training the community in safe gun ownership pointed a fake machine gun at him.

Andrew Evans didn't immediately realise the gun, used in police training sessions, was a toy.

It was being held at waist height by Christopher John Kerley, he told a jury in the Victorian County Court on Monday.

He said he was startled and, under duress, raised his right arm and told Kerley "no, no don't". Then he noticed the red tip, indicating the gun wasn't real.

Kerley, now a former officer, is standing trial after pleaded not guilty to assaulting Mr Evans by pointing the gun at him inside Knox police station in February 2019.

The two men had known each other for more than 30 years, having gone through the police academy together in the late 1980s.

Kerley, a divisional firearms officer, told investigators he was visiting Leading Senior Constable Dave Weller, who filled the same role in a neighbouring region.

LSC Weller told jurors he regarded Kerley as the best divisional firearms officer in Victoria at the time.

He saw Kerley pick up the toy machine gun he used for community training sessions on safe firearm handling.

"I just said 'don't point that at anybody'," LSC Weller said.

In an interview with investigators, Kerley admitted he took the gun into the office where Mr Evans was sitting, expecting to see an office full of people.

He said Mr Evans had seemed a little bit startled upon seeing the gun in his hands, but that he told him not to worry because it wasn't real.

He said he pointed the gun out the door, pulled the trigger and it made a "clacking" noise and Mr Evans had replied "it's alright mate". They then had a conversation about former squad mates and a reunion, he said.

Mr Evans made up his version of what happened, Kerley said, adding any belief by Mr Evans that he was going to be shot was "absolute utter tripe, rubbish".

"He's just been looking for the catalyst to get out of his job," he said.

"I'm an expert in regard to firearm safety - my finger is never on the trigger, it's never pointed at anybody and the inference I was going to kill him ... absolute rubbish."

But Mr Evans told the jury Kerley hadn't said anything to him and that after pointing the gun at him Kerley had turned and left.

He said the whole incident lasted about five seconds. Later Kerley walked back into the office, sat down near him and "chuckled", Mr Evans said.

The jury heard the incident triggered in Mr Evans a cascade of memories from 30 years of policing.

He was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and deemed not fit to return to employment, prompting him to take early retirement.

The trial is continuing.