Chad Bennett, right, was placed on a good behaviour bond.CHAD ‘‘Hollywood’’ Bennett has escaped a jail term despite admitting to having two replica pistols hidden in his garage, including one wrapped in a balaclava.
The 42-year-old was instead handed an 18-month good behaviour bond, and placed under the supervision of the Probation and Parole Service, after a magistrate found Bennett was not going to use the guns ‘‘as they may have been used by other members of the community’’.
Bennett’s solicitor John Anthony also informed Newcastle Local Court there may be an application by another relative, who had firearms licence, to retrieve one of the old guns because it had once belonged to another relative.
It was contrary to a statement Bennett had given police, where he told them he had bought one of the ‘‘BB guns’’ in Thailand and had carried it back in his luggage.
‘‘ I didn’t think there was any problem bringing a BB gun back. Maybe I am wrong,’’ a statement of facts quoted Bennett as telling police.
Bennett was arrested after police were led to the guns by his partner, Megan Beukers, after officers were called to their Mayfield home for a domestic dispute in May.
Bennett had been charged with a domestic assault before the charge was dropped when Ms Beukers failed to attend court.
But the guns charges remained, after police seized the two firearms – one an imitation pistol described as an auto-loading .45 calibre model with a magazine, and the second an air gun or a 1911 .45 calibre black pistol.
The facts said Bennett told police the firearms were purchased to shoot at an overweight feline.
‘‘I got sold a BB pistol to shoot a fat cat … It was to shoot the cat but it doesn’t even work,’’ Bennett told police during a recorded interview.
In relation to the second firearm, an air gun, Bennett told police: ‘‘It fires ball-bearings and did do the effect on the cat.’’
In deciding against a jail term, magistrate Dominique Burns said it appeared the guns ‘‘were never going to be used as they may have been used by other members of the community’’.