BAIL REFUSED: Capricornia Correctional Centre.
BAIL REFUSED: Capricornia Correctional Centre. Contributed

Gladstone man to 'vigorously' contest gun theft charge

A GLADSTONE man accused of burglary has been refused bail after a police prosecutor convinced a local magistrate he posed an unacceptable risk of re-offending.

Andrew William Stronach, 23, appeared via video link from Capricornia Correctional Centre on Friday, at times shaking his head in disbelief as the prosecutor listed the reasons police believed he should not be allowed back in to the community before his coming trial.

He is charged with one count of entering a dwelling and committing an indictable offence - namely burglary - as well as possessing cannabis and possession of a bong.

Prosecutor Joel Sleep told the court police would allege Mr Stronach stole two high-powered guns and a quantity of ammunition from another premises on October 9.

Police found the weapons in a gun safe as they searched a unit while executing a warrant on a neighbouring unit the following day.

Mr Sleep told the court police believed Mr Stronach had "intent to cause harm" based on statements he allegedly made to officers after the search, including saying he "needed to make money" after being asked why he had the guns, and saying he was going to use them to shoot police.

Mr Sleep called Mr Stronach a "prolific offender" based on his criminal history, and told the court Mr Stronach had in the past said he would "wipe his ass" with documents upon being served bail conditions.

"I submit he would have complete disregard for any bail conditions," Mr Sleep said.

Applying for bail, defence lawyer Rio Ramos said her client intended to "vigorously" contest the burglary charge.

Ms Ramos said the Crown's case was weak when it came to establishing her client had actually stolen the weapons, and there were also issues with the legality of the search.

She also pointed out the weapons were found in a safe, and there was nothing to suggest her client actually had access to the weapons at the time.

While she could not provide the court with a confirmed place of residence for her client, Ms Ramos argued he was not at risk of leaving Gladstone because his previous convictions had occurred at Gladstone Magistrates Court.

She said his two most recent entries for breaching bail were for being late to report to police because he had to ride a bike.

Magistrate Melanie Ho agreed there were concerns with the strength of the police case on the burglary charge.

But Ms Ho said Mr Stronach was not in jeopardy of serving excess time in prison as there appeared to be a strong case for the drug charges, and possible downgraded charges of receiving stolen property.



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