A young Ipswich woman has pleaded guilty to possession of a home-made firearm, which police found under the seat of a black Mercedes Benz.
A young Ipswich woman has pleaded guilty to possession of a home-made firearm, which police found under the seat of a black Mercedes Benz.

Home-made gun under seat was loaded: Police

MYSTERY remains as to who sold a young woman a potentially deadly home-made gun.

The question about the origins of a loaded firearm was left unanswered when Shania King went before Ipswich Magistrates Court for sentence on firearm and ammunition charges.

The illegal home-made weapon was found loaded with five .22 calibre bullets and secreted under the front passenger seat of black Mercedes Benz where King had been seated.

Police intercepted the Benz at Leichhardt on August 19, 2020 when driven by a friend Jonathan Finch and carrying four people.

Shania Rose King, 22 from Brassall pleaded guilty to 11 charges including the unlawful possession of a short firearm; carrying a loaded weapon; unlawful possession of ammunition; unlawful possession of motor vehicles; and possession of dangerous drugs.

Prosecutor Senior Constable Bernard Elmore said the Mercedes Benz was intercepted just before 6.30pm.

Sen Const. Elmore said the gun was homemade, about 15cm in length, with a plastic barrel and loaded with five rounds.

He said all four occupants of the vehicle denied any knowledge of the weapon, until King declared the firearm as being hers.

"She said she obtained it from an unknown associate two hours before," he said.

"She said she handled if for 10 minutes then put it under the seat, but was not aware it was loaded."

Magistrate David Shepherd asked if the homemade firearm had been tested by police.

Snr Const. Elmore said it was tested and found to be capable of firing.

Defence barrister Jack Kennedy outlined King's upbringing in Canberra as being "difficult" before moving to Queensland.

 

"She was in a relationship with an older man who introduced her to methylamphetamine. And he is now in jail," Mr Kennedy said.

"A cynical person may suggest her plea is to protect someone else although there is no evidence of that," Mr Shepherd said.

The court heard nobody else in the vehicle was charged in relation to the gun.

"So it is accepted that she had sole responsibility for that weapon," Mr Shepherd said.

"The case must rely on admissions she made. They are not challenged," Mr Kennedy said.

Mr Shepherd said the admissions by King did not relieve the car's other occupants of their responsibility (regarding the unlawful possession of a firearm) under certain provisions of the Weapons Act.

"There is no police evidence about what the weapon was to be used for. There is very little to suggest it was to be used for anything nefarious," Mr Shepherd said.

"Fortunately it was intercepted before anything disastrous could occur."

Mr Shepherd sentenced King to a 12-month jail term for possession of the weapon, granting immediate parole.

He ordered a two-year supervised probation order for the other offences.



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