Fa­ther’s weapons seized

Whitsunday Times - - NEWS - Luke Mor­timer

A FOR­MER Army Re­serve weapons in­struc­tor who im­ported a gun part through Ebay was later busted with il­le­gal semi-auto pis­tols and ma­chine gun parts un­der his bed.

It came af­ter Iain Lewis King lost his weapons li­cence in 2008, when he tried to bring an 84mm anti per­son­nel rocket car­tridge back on an over­seas flight.

A court heard the two op­er­a­ble semi-auto pis­tols found un­der King’s bed were re­stored me­men­tos of his fa­ther’s ser­vice in the Sec­ond World War.

King faced Judge Deb­o­rah Richards in the Dis­trict Court in Mackay last Thurs­day.

The 65-year-old Proser­pine man pleaded guilty to im­port­ing tier 2 goods – a K43 Mauser semi-au­to­matic re­ceiver/bar­rel assem­bly – on Jan­uary 28, 2014.

King also pleaded guilty to pos­sess­ing weapons – two Sec­ond World War-era Ger­man 9mm pis­tols, ma­chine gun and other firearm parts – on March 6, 2014.

Crown pros­e­cu­tor CJ Moore said King came to the at­ten­tion of Fed­eral Po­lice when Aus­tralian Cus­toms in­ter­cepted a pack­age for him from the Czech Repub­lic.

They found the Mauser assem­bly, which “can­not be im­ported with­out the con­sent of the at­tor­ney gen­eral”.

Fed­eral Po­lice then ob­tained a war­rant and searched King’s home, find­ing the firearms stash in­clud­ing the oiled and well-main­tained pis­tols in a shoe­box.

“The de­fen­dant told po­lice that the pis­tols were brought af­ter the war by his fa­ther and he had them re­stored,” Mr Moore said.

“(But) he knew he was com­mit­ting an of­fence by im­port­ing the parts.”

Mr Moore de­scribed the pis­tols’ well-kept con­di­tion and hid­ing place as a “rel­e­vant con­sid­er­a­tion for sen­tence”.

He said King men­tioned hav­ing a “school-aged child re­sid­ing in the house” to po­lice.

Mr Moore ap­plied to have King’s weapons and parts

of­fi­cially for­feited. De­fence bar­ris­ter Stephen Byrnes de­scribed King as a re­tired, mar­ried dad and an “avid col­lec­tor of mil­i­tary mem­o­ra­bilia” since he was a teen. The court heard King was an Army Re­servist and builder for 16 years, be­fore he turned to nurs­ing and mid­wifery in his early 30s.

Mr Byrne said King was based in the Tor­res Strait for seven years as an emer­gency nurse, which later saw him di­ag­nosed with trau­matic stress dis­or­der (PTSD) in 2007.

The de­fence lawyer de­scribed the rocket car­tridge from King’s pre­vi­ous con­vic­tion as “in­op­er­a­ble” and said it “couldn’t hurt any­body”.

He said King, an aged pen­sioner, had no ammo for the pis­tols and the gun parts were “in­op­er­a­ble” with­out work.

Judge Richards said both of King’s charges could at­tract a max­i­mum penalty of 10 or more years. She was crit­i­cal of the fact the pis­tols “would have been ac­ces­si­ble” to chil­dren in King’s house.

King was sen­tenced to nine months jail for im­port­ing and six months for pos­ses­sion, sus­pended im­me­di­ately, and he was placed on a good be­hav­iour bond for six months.

He was fined $2000 and con­vic­tions were recorded.

Mr King thanked the judge and ex­claimed “I’ll be good, your hon­our”.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.