Sawed-off weapon and bong lands Western Downs man in court
The "stupid" decision to meet up with a group of friends to shoot cane toads by the river after midnight while armed with a sawed-off air rifle landed a young Miles man in hot water.
The Chinchilla Magistrates Court heard Tyson Ward was captured on CCTV footage on March 2, entering the toilet block at Anzac Park with the air rifle, prompting police to search his home where they found the rifle and a used plastic bong with a hose and cone-piece attached.
In court on Thursday, April 8, Ward pleaded guilty to possessing a used drug utensil and possessing a category A, B, or M weapon.
Police prosecutor sergeant Chris Hutchins emphasised the weapon was only an on-air rifle and not a firearm and made the submission that the 20-year-old be issued a fine for his offences.
Duty lawyer Jessica Hine told the court Ward owned up to the stupidity of his actions and noted he had been using marijuana to help mitigate mental health and sleep issues.
Ms Hine also submitted to the court that Ward be issued a fine - although the young lad had other ideas.
Magistrate Mossop challenged Ward to give her a reason why he shouldn't be placed on probation to monitor his drug use, mental health, and poor choices - especially given the fact he was in court for drug utensils earlier in the year.
"This might be a bit weird…" Ward began.
"But I would actually prefer probation because I can monitor myself.
"Back at school I had teachers monitoring me, that's what (probation) sort of feels like.
"It also keeps the cops off me, I'm sick of them coming to my house, especially the last two times they raided me for no reason at all."
Magistrate Mossop said her initial reaction was to impose a short period of probation despite the fact the court had two submissions in favour of a fine.
"Ms Hine, I know your submission was for a fine… do you have a submission in relation to what Mr Ward has said?"
Ms Hine told the court she had never had a client ask for a higher penalty.
"I'm in a difficult position… it needs to be stressed to Mr Ward that if he breaches that probation there's a risk of convictions being recorded," she said.
Magistrate Mossop noted as Ward had been looking for work, a probation order may hinder his employment options.
"In all seriousness the fact that you want probation shows me you know you have done the wrong thing," she said.
"You can take those steps yourself that a probation order encourages you to do.
"I want to give you one last chance to be mature enough to sort it out yourself."
Ward was fined $600 for both offences, and no convictions were recorded.