Man with loaded gun refused bail
A 47-YEAR-OLD man who was sleeping with a loaded handgun in a pillowcase on his bed was refused bail in the Proserpine Magistrate’s Court this week.
Marc Alexander Stuart was brought to court in police custody on Monday charged with two counts of unlawfully possessing weapons, two of possessing dangerous drugs and one each of possessing drug-related utensils and possessing explosives without the required authority.
Duty lawyer Sherrie Meade said Stuart wanted to plead guilty to the charges and have them dealt with straight away. She said he had business arrangements that needed to be urgently addressed that day.
Magistrate Haydn Stjernqvist was reluctant to accept the plea saying he believed the charge fell within the jurisdiction of a higher court and carried a mandatory oneyear prison term. He also noted the association between weapons and drugs.
Police prosecutor Elizabeth Smith tendered Stuart’s criminal history and read the facts.
She said at 10.30am on August 3, police from the Whitsunday Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB) executed a search warrant at Stuart’s Cannonvale address, finding a loaded Magnum .375 handgun inside a pillow case on the bed where he was sleeping.
She said Stuart was not licensed to possess this weapon and did he hold a licence for the air pistol or air cartridge pellets found in a cupboard.
Police also found 12 LSD tabs inside a woman’s purse and a brown bowl containing one gram of chopped up cannabis.
Stuart was arrested and transported to the watch house. A 36year-old woman implicated in the search was also charged with of- fences under the drugs misuse act.
After hearing these facts, Ms Meade persisted with Stuart’s application for bail which was officially objected to by the prosecution.
Ms Meade submitted the weapons had been seized and therefore Stuart could not be considered a danger to the community.
She said there was a reason why he had the guns, “but it wasn’t for personal protection”. Mr Stjernqvist did not agree. “It is laughable for him to suggest to you, in the circumstances where he’s got a loaded .375 Magnum gun in or around his bed, that he is not in fear of someone or something,” he said.
Mr Stjernqvist said for Stuart’s own welfare and the serious nature of the offences, bail was refused.
The matter was adjourned for one week and Stuart was told his personal appearance in court would be required.