Man fined after drinking buddy steals gun
A MAN who had his unsecured gun stolen by a man he drunkenly met in a taxi rank and invited back to his house to keep boozing has been fined $200.
Former Navy man and FIFO diesel fitter Aaron MacPhail, 30, had left the dismantled rifle on a wardrobe shelf on August 19 when he invited the 21-year-old White Rock man to his house after meeting him that night.
The Cairns Magistrates Court heard on Thursday he realised it was missing two days later and reported it to police who raided the younger man's home and found it.
Defence solicitor Tom Eckersley told the court his client had been a responsible weapons license holder since he was 15.
But he said his guns were normally stored in his family's Townsville residence, but he was temporarily based in Cairns for FIFO work and had used the $3000 gun on a recent hunting trip.
"He put the rifle in a locked storage sheath, but it wasn't secured," Mr Eckersley said.
"He gets drunk, meets a new friend. This new friend stole it from him.
"This is an embarrassing situation for him."
The court heard MacPhail has now had his weapons licence revoked and was no longer able to own a firearm.
Magistrate Catherine Benson said she accepted that he was otherwise a responsible gun owner but the rules were "well and truly know to you" and fined him $200.
The younger man is facing charges of burglary, unlawful possession of a category B weapon and possession of a dangerous drug.