A Shepparton man was caught short when police knocked at his front door looking for someone else while he had a sawn-off shotgun and drugs in his bedroom.
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Bailey Forrester, 24, pleaded guilty in Shepparton Magistrates’ Court to possessing a firearm while a prohibited person, possessing ammunition without a licence, insecure storing of a firearm or ammunition while unlicensed, possessing a firearm with no serial number, possessing cocaine and failing to comply with a direction to assist police.
Prosecutor Leading Senior Constable Brent O’Grady told the court police went to Forrester’s Shepparton house on July 10 looking for another person.
When they arrived, they heard something being thrown against the fence in the yard, and found a bag on the ground.
Forrester was hanging out his bedroom window, yelling “give me my bag, you can’t search that”.
Police opened the bag and found a .410 calibre Bolito sawn-off shotgun with the serial number removed.
Also in the bag were two cartridges of ammunition, as well as six zip-lock bags and one vial containing cocaine, with a total weight of 6.4g.
Leading Sen Constable O’Grady said Forrester also refused to give police the passcode to his phone, saying “I will get less for not giving it”.
The court was told that in a police interview, Forrester denied owning the gun.
The court also heard he was a prohibited person when it came to owning firearms, and was on a community corrections order for possessing an imitation firearm.
Forrester’s solicitor Shana McDonald told the court her client had experienced a lot of trauma in his childhood.
She also said that the court could not assume that because drugs were found, and a gun, there was a connection between the two things.
Ms McDonald, however, conceded the charges were serious but said Forrester had thrown the gun out the window “in a moment of panic” when the police came looking for someone else.
Leading Sen Constable O’Grady asked for prison for Forrester, especially as the gun had the serial number removed and it had been shortened.
“Firearms in the community are an issue,” he said.
Magistrate Alexandra Burt said the 45 days Forrester had already spent in pre-sentence detention was not long enough for the offences.
She remanded him in custody and adjourned his matter for him to return to court in late September.
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