Little old lady blamed for rifle crime
WHEN Lindsay Edward Charles Hamilton appeared in the Rockhampton Magistrates Court on Friday, he was facing two charges of possessing an unregistered firearm - one which was a sawn-off rifle.
But it was Hamilton's excuse for having the guns that raised eyebrows in the court.
Hamilton's excuse to police when he was caught with the guns was that he got them off an "old lady", who he refused to name or give details of.
Police prosecutor Senior Constable Shaun Janes said at 8.30am on December 30 last year police were at a Skyline Dr address for another matter and to conduct a search warrant.
Hamilton, who pleaded guilty to the charges, told the police he had two unregistered firearms in his unlocked car.
Snr Const Janes said Hamilton told police "he got them from an old lady whose husband had died".
Defence solicitor Doug Winning represented Hamilton, and said the 22-year-old had a licence for firearms, and was waiting for the next firearm amnesty to hand them in.
Mr Winning said Hamilton was "a rural person" with a lot of experience with guns, who had an "excellent" work history as a self-employed contractor working six-to-seven days each week.
"It has been a wake-up call for him, there is going to be a loss of (firearm) licence for five years I would think," Mr Winning said.
Magistrate Michael O'Driscoll said it was important that charges such as those Hamilton appeared on were "taken seriously", especially since one of the rifles had been sawn off.
He was fined a total of $2000 with no conviction recorded.
Both firearms were forfeited.