Bad blood in sex shop: Junkie comment exposes drug, weapons
A CONVERSATION in a sex shop while his young daughter waited in a car outside was the beginning of Peter Warren Barnes' problems.
The 50-year-old man's Peregian Springs man's troubles multiplied when a loaded handgun, methamphetamine, nunckucks, steroids and Rebels bikie paraphernalia were found in his home.
The children's soccer coach was talking with a staff member on April 29 at the Intrigues adult shop in Marcoola about a boss at the store, who Barnes said had insulted him.
Yesterday the Maroochydore Magistrates Court heard he told the staff member her boss should be careful about what she said to customers, or she could become a victim of violence.
He told the woman he didn't want to do anything stupid because his daughter was in the car outside.
Barnes had originally charged with threatening violence over the conversation in the sex shop, but the charge was later downgraded to public nuisance.
Barnes' lawyer Peter Kuskie told the court that during Barnes' previous visit to the store, he had facial lesions caused by a staph infection and the boss remarked he looked like a junkie, to which Barnes "took offence".
Mr Kuskie said Barnes had not intended to sound threatening when he was speaking to the staff member, and the exchange was nothing more than a conversation between two people who had been on friendly terms.
"I think there's been a slight misunderstanding," Mr Kuskie said.
He said the staff member even walked out of the store with Barnes to meet his daughter at his car.
But as Barnes drove away, the worker noted his registration and reported the incident to police.
Officers came to Barnes' home on May 3 with a search warrant, and found a handgun loaded with three bullets, methamphetamine, steroids, a syringe and Rebels bikie paraphernalia.
Barnes was charged with possessing a weapon, possessing ammunition, failing to dispose of a syringe, possessing drug utensils, two counts of possessing dangerous drugs, and possessing restricted items.
Mr Kuskie said the gun, found in Barnes' bedroom, was brought to the home by an intoxicated friend the previous day, and Barnes, believing the gun was properly registered, had taken it from the man for safekeeping until his return.
Barnes had been involved with the Rebels in Sydney in his youth, but Mr Kruskie said Barnes had not been associated with the gang "for in excess of 30 years".
Mr Kuskie said Barnes had tried using the steroids years before and found they "weren't for him", but failed to dispose of the vial.
"He was supposed to make arrangements to collect and destroy it," Mr Kuskie said.
"(Barnes) is not a drug user himself."
He said the meth belonged to a younger friend who had visited previously, the syringe had only been used to remove prickles, and Barnes used the nunchucks only for practise in "self-trained" martial arts.
"My client has been a lifelong student of kung fu," Mr Kuskie said.
He said Barnes accepted that since he was not associated with a martial arts organisation, he had no reasonable excuse for possessing the weapon.
Mr Kuskie said the court may find some of the circumstances implausible.
"I was thinking more like Alice in Wonderland," Mr Stjernqvist replied.
He said the maximum penalty for the possession of the handgun alone was a $38,000 fine or seven years in prison.
Mr Stjernqvist accepted Barnes' lack of criminal history, early guilty plea, character references and "bizarre, if not unbelievable" circumstances, and handed down a $5000 fine with no conviction recorded.