Both bar­rels for Ibrahim girl­friend on gun charges

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - NEWS - BRENDEN HILLS COURT RE­PORTER

PO­LICE have fa­mously never been able to lay a glove on “King of the Cross” John Ibrahim but prose­cu­tors are now look­ing to land a knock­out blow against his girl­friend on her gun pos­ses­sion charges.

Sarah Budge has been or­dered to stand trial in the Dis­trict Court on gun pos­ses­sion charges that carry a max­i­mum penalty of 14 years in jail.

The stakes have dra­mat­i­cally in­creased for Budge since prose­cu­tors up­graded her charges ear­lier this year, re­sult­ing in her case be­ing taken out of the lo­cal court, which hears mat­ters that mostly carry a max­i­mum penalty of two years.

On Wed­nes­day, Budge’s lawyer Greg Goold told the court the 28-year-old model had elected to waive her right to a com­mit­tal hear­ing — where the strength of the ev­i­dence would be tested — and would go straight to trial in the Dis­trict Court.

The court also heard that af­ter ne­go­ti­a­tions be­tween the le­gal teams, prose­cu­tors agreed to with­draw three of the six charges Budge was fac­ing.

But Budge is still fac­ing three charges, in­clud­ing pos­sess­ing an unau­tho­rised pistol, pos­sess­ing a pro­hib­ited weapon with­out a per­mit and pos­sess­ing a de­faced firearm, which all carry a max­i­mum penalty of 14 years.

John Ibrahim was not with Budge in court. In­stead, Budge’s fa­ther sat by her side to hear the devel­op­ment.

The charges re­late to a loaded 9mm Glock pistol that was found in her eastern sub­urbs apart­ment on the day po­lice con­ducted co-or­di­nated raids across three con­ti­nents that also led to the ar­rest of John’s younger broth­ers Michael and Fadi.

Michael faces charges of mas­ter­mind­ing a drug and to­bacco smug­gling op­er­a­tion while Fadi is charged with al­legedly fi­nanc­ing one of the to­bacco im­ports.

John Ibrahim is not fac­ing any charges and Ms Budge is not fac­ing any charges over the smug­gling syn­di­cate.

Af­ter her ar­rest, Ms Budge spent a night in jail be­fore be­ing granted bail.

She now has to re­port to po­lice once a week.

She will ap­pear again in the Syd­ney Dis­trict Court on May 25.

Pic­ture: Dy­lan Robin­son

Sarah Budge leaves court.

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