Man poses with stolen weapon bailed on strict conditions 

A MAN allegedly caught posing for photos with a firearm stolen in a $60,000 burglary on the weekend has been released on bail.

Pictures of Michael Anthony Dawson holding the weapon were allegedly discovered by police following a mix up with mobile phones, which were said to have been purchased using some of $50,000 cash stolen in the Wendouree burglary.

Ballarat Magistrates Court yesterday heard that four firearms and the cash were stolen from a Grandview Grove property on Sunday, which Dawson was not involved in. Police said the 19-year-old became embroiled in the burglary when he was present at a Wendouree property on Tuesday where police carried out a raid targeting the alleged burglars. Two of the stolen firearms were recovered.

Dawson told police he didn’t think about where the weapons came from, and posed with one because “it was (expletive) awesome”.

Detective Senior Constable Andrew Cummins gave evidence, saying Dawson had also been forensically linked to an aggravated burglary on November 9. Police said that if released Dawson was an unacceptable risk of re-offending.

“I’ve got no confidence that he won’t breach his bail,” Detective Cummins said.

The teenager’s mother Nicole Dawson also gave evidence, saying her son had been mixing with the wrong crowd recently.

“He’s a funny sort of boy ... but he’s a sweet boy,” she said.

“He gets easily led and is very impulsive.”

Magistrate Frank Jones granted bail on strict conditions, including daily reporting to police and a curfew but warned Dawson to behave.

“Having heard from his mother and given his medical condition ... I think incarceration is the worst thing that can happen to him at this stage,” he said.

Dawson is facing charges including handling stolen goods.

He is due back in court on December 18.