WATCH: Father, son kept AK47s for killing dingoes

A MASSIVE firearms cache said to be Queensland's biggest gun haul that began with a bang when police seized hundreds of weapons and tonnes of ammunition from a Central Queensland rural property, has been quietly finalised in a Gladstone court.

Gladstone magistrate Mark Morrow was told that the farmer appearing before him on six firearms charges kept guns "to chase dingoes away from his geese".

Millionaire Monto grazier and lucerne grower Donald Collard, 71, and son Stephen Collard, 48, each received suspended jail sentences in the District Court at Rockhampton in February after pleading guilty to combined 20 weapons-related charges after police raided a Moonford property in November 2013.

Over 370 guns were found scattered at various locations around the property, many unsecured and loaded including what police described as military-style fully automatic guns, AK47s and MP5s.

Along with fully automatic rifles were semi-automatic rifles, handguns, 11,270 cartridges and over four tonnes of ammunition which were uncovered from a house and sheds.

No Caption
No Caption Luke Mortimer

The Crown said 271 were unlawful.

Police at the time said some of the weapons had a potential street value of millions of dollars.

In their defence the family said they were collectors and had built a gun room under the Collard house.

Stephen Collard was sentenced to 12 months jail, fully suspended for three years on the unlawful supply of weapons to a rural doctor; six months jail (suspended) for unlawful possession of weapons; and three months jail (suspended) for weapons possession.

No Caption
No Caption Luke Mortimer

His father Donald Collard was sentenced to 12 months jail - fully suspended for two years.

This week Stephen Collard went back before Gladstone Magistrates Court to plead guilty to six outstanding firearm charges that were not part of the District Court proceedings.

He said outside the court that the loss of guns was worth "millions" and the 2 ½ years of legal proceedings had been "a long haul".

Gladstone police prosecutor Gavin Reece said these stem from a search by detectives of a property on Scrubby Mt Road in November 2013 in which a weapons cache was found during searches of a house, rail carriages, sheds, pool room and motor vehicles.

He said weapons were found scattered in various locations, many loaded and unsecured with gun safes open, the safes not secured (fixed).

"He says he used them to chase dingoes away from his geese," Mr Reece said.

Police show of some of the huge haul of guns and ammunition found at a property in Monto on November 25, 2013. Photo Contributed
Police show of some of the huge haul of guns and ammunition found at a property in Monto on November 25, 2013. Photo Contributed Contributed

Stephen Collard pleaded guilty to not keeping firearms unloaded; having control of weapons that were not secured properly; not storing restricted items securely; and unlawful possession of detonators and boosters.

He told police he had the explosives left from when he held an explosives licence 15 years ago.

Defence lawyer Frank Martin told the Gladstone court he had been able to negotiate with the prosecution for "a suitable outcome" in the District Court matters and that it had been his father who pleaded guilty to possession of 271 unregistered weapons while Stephen had only 17 unregistered; while his father also had a large amount of ammunition.

Mr Martin said he sought a conviction but no further punishment for Stephen Collard.

Magistrate Morrow agreed and gave convictions only.



Art meets science at Lismore Quad

premium_icon Art meets science at Lismore Quad

Hundreds attend Lismore's annual Arts vs Science Festival

Which Northern Rivers councils are using glyphosate?

premium_icon Which Northern Rivers councils are using glyphosate?

The herbicide was at the centre of a landmark court case in the US

Local Partners