Missing dog sheds light on weapons

IT WAS a missing dog which led police to uncover Robert George Elliott's cache of unregistered weapons, when they searched his Tungamull property.

Among the weapons were three rifles, ammunition and a homemade silencer.

Elliott yesterday pleaded guilty in the Rockhampton Magistrates Court to four counts of unlawfully possessing the weapons without a permit.

He also faced a drug possession charge.

The court heard police had searched his property on August 12 after a woman reported her dog missing on August 11.

Police prosecutor Danita Clarke said the woman told police she believed her neighbour, Elliott, had shot the dog.

When police searched the property, Ms Clarke said Elliott told them about two small cannabis plants he was growing.

Ms Clarke said police also found four PVC pipes with screw-on caps during the search.

Inside, there was a shortened rifle, what appeared to be a homemade silencer, two further rifles and a conversion unit which allowed the calibre of the firearms to be changed.

Ms Clarke said police also found ammunition in various calibres.

The dog's fate was not mentioned in evidence.

Defence solicitor Pierre Lammersdorf said the dog would roam Elliott's property and had previously eaten his chickens.

While Elliott had completed a firearms safety course, he had not filled out the registration application.

Magistrate Cameron Press said he was more interested in learning why Elliott possessed a shortened rifle and silencer.

Mr Lammersdorf said he used the rifle, which had been his grandfather's, to shoot pigs for slaughter on the property and had shortened it because the barrel was bent, making it unsafe.

Mr Press said possession of firearms was a serious offence and one which could see Elliott jailed if he appeared before court on similar charges in the future.

For possession of the two rifles, ammunition and cannabis plants, Elliott was sentenced to 12 months' probation. He was fined a total of $3000 for possessing the shortened rifle and homemade silencer.

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