Guns, ammo, drugs found

A 64-year-old wheelchair bound man and his 49-year-old carer have both pleaded guilty to using cannabis at their Clunes home.

The Ballarat Magistrates Court on Monday heard a search warrant was executed at the Fairview Road address on July 28 this year.

Three ziplock bags containing 132 grams of cannabis, belonging to 64-year-old John Sinclair, were found.

Another 56 grams, five guns – including a rifle and sawn-off shot gun which were found wrapped in a blanket behind a door - and 900 rounds of ammunition were also found in the bedroom of Sinclair’s carer, 49-year-old Jason Riske, who was prohibited from possessing any firearms.

Sinclair, who had no prior criminal history, told police he bought enough cannabis to last between six and 12 months at a time to deal with his deteriorating back issues.

During his interview with police, Riske also made full admissions to using cannabis for personal use.

He also said the guns were given to him by an elderly man and he had intentions to hand them in, but did not get around to it.

His lawyer, Mike Wardell, said Riske often helped around the community and offered to hand the guns in, but changed his priorities after his father died. Mr Wardell said Riske had no priors for firearms and there were no suggestions the guns were used in any criminal activity.

Magistrate Mark Stratmann told Riske his actions needed to be condemned.

“Firearm offences are serious, one of them was sawn-off … the public has a right to be concerned about these,” he said.

“You should have dealt with them promptly.”

Riske was convicted and fined $2400 on the five charges he pleaded guilty to, while Sinclair was fined $650 for the cannabis.

In a separate case a 41-year-old man who posted naked images of his partner on Facebook, despite being prohibited by a family violence interim order, has appealed a 60-day jail term.

The man, who The Courier has chosen not to name to avoid identifying the victim, said he posted the images to prove they were together as a couple after he claimed the woman made him look silly by stating they weren’t together. Describing the breach of intervention order as “extremely serious”, magistrate Mark Stratmann sentenced the father of six to 60 days imprisonment.

The man was granted appeal bail and his matter will be heard at the County Court at a date to be fixed.