A man who crafted a homemade explosive from a Diazepam bottle and a sparkler told police he had done so for his own safety, the Ballarat Magistrates Court has heard.
Michael Rae, 31, appeared before the court on Thursday charged with a number of burglary offences and possessing an explosive substance.
Police prosecutor Ivan Blomeley said on September 28, Rae’s girlfriend’s car was reported stolen. When it was found the next day, officers located a medicine container with a bullet inside and black powder, with a sparkler inserted in the middle to be used as a fuse.
Officers also located a second small plastic bottle containing a lead shot and a small amount of black powder.
Rae was arrested that afternoon, and made full admissions as to what he referred to as a bomb, but said he had made it “for my own safety”.
At a search of his home in Canadian, police located other items including a black taser, ammunition, a silver doubled-bladed knife, black powder, ammonium nitrate fertiliser, and a wooden homemade firearm with metal handles.
Rae was also in court for a number of burglary matters on August 29 and 30.
On one of the instances, he stole horse drugs and syringes from a car in Sunbury, then attempted to steal from a toolbox located in a Hilux.
At 2.30am on August 30, he attended Gisborne Road, Bacchus Marsh, where he entered a shed. He was accosted by the victim, who said Rae told him he was looking to collect a Paslode gun.
Police apprehended Rae in Ballan later that day and searched his car, finding 19 rounds of ammunition, keys to other vehicles, flares, power tools, a first aid kit with syringes and needles and fishing knives.
Rae has spent 73 days on remand.
His defence lawyer said it was the first time he had appeared in court, that Rae had few prior convictions, and that his time in custody had led to an “enforced detox” from his client’s cannabis and ice habit.
Speaking from the dock, Rae told Magistrate John Doherty said he had “slipped off the tracks” but would not be going back to crime and methamphetamine use.
“After spending this long off it (ice), I would never go back on it,” he said.
Mr Doherty convicted and released Rae, fined him $900 and ordered him to serve a nine-month community corrections order.
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