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2 July, 2021

Probation for man with a golden gun

A 28-YEAR-OLD man caught with a hidden and loaded golden gun, with an illegally shortened barrel, was placed on probation, with no conviction recorded, in the Mackay Magistrates Court this week.

A 28-YEAR-OLD man caught with a hidden and loaded golden gun, with an illegally shortened barrel, was placed on probation, with no conviction recorded, in the Mackay Magistrates Court this week.

Thomas Zachary Carson pleaded guilty to possessing a shortened firearm, possessing a weapon with an altered identity, producing (or growing) dangerous drugs, possessing drug utensils, plus two more charges of possessing dangerous drugs.

The police prosecutor told the Magistrate’s Court that the loaded and shortened rifle indicated some sinister intent, and that during a search of a house in Mount Pleasant on May 4 this year, police found a white tube with the gun hidden inside with the defendant’s fingerprints on the tube.

The prosecutor said the shortened gun had been painted gold and that police had also found a gold toy gun in the kitchen, which had been painted with the same colour gold, from the same spray paint can.

When questioned, Carson said his child had painted the toy gun, but that he hadn’t painted or modified the hidden rifle. He claimed that it was like that when he found it at his house, and that no one else had touched it.

The court was told that when police arrived at the house, ‘Carson and a woman decamped out the back door’.

Police gave a quick foot chase and stopped the defendant and a female in their backyard, and they were returned to the house where Carson admitted that illegal drugs and an illegal firearm were his.

The Court was told that police found sealed bags of cannabis and methamphetamines, plus drug utensils including a water pipe, a brass pipe and scales on the bar in the house.

In the back yard, police also found a pot with 11 cannabis plants, and Carson admitted that he knew it was an offence to grow cannabis.

The cannabis bags weighed 29 grams and the methamphetamines weighed five grams.

When police found the white tube with a shortened, bold action firearm hidden inside, they took the white tube outside and removed the gun, which was loaded with a 22-calibre bullet in the chamber.

The Court was told that police also found gun parts and a shotgun barrel in the white tube.

At the time, Carson told police that a few weeks earlier, he had his firearm stolen from an Eimeo address which he reported to police.

Then about five-days before his house was searched, he returned home and found the white tube outside near the entry to his loungeroom.

Carson said that when he opened the tube, he saw that his rifle had been modified and admitted that he should have reported it to police.

The police prosecutor added that in the defendant’s favour there were no like offences, plus as the 28-year-old defendant had pleaded guilty.

As a result, the prosecutor said that Carson had not put the court, police and the prosecution through a full trial and a six-month wait on an analysis certificate, so the matter could be finalised today in the Magistrates Court.

As a result, police elected for summary jurisdiction in the Magistrates Court, when it could have elected for an indictment to a higher court and that Carson had saved police time his preparing a case for a higher court.

Further, following pre-court meetings, the police prosecutor recommended a 12 to 18-month Probation.

Carson was an auto glazier and currently works at an operator in the mining industry.

On the advice of the parole officer and the police prosecutor, Magistrate Athol Kennedy decided not to record a conviction and handed down a 12-month Probation Order with drug diversion and counselling and the Magistrate suspended Carson’s firearms licence.

“The probation states that you shall not consume or administer a dangerous drug,” the Mackay Magistrate said.  

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