Torch was a loaded gun
WHEN police spotted Trent Christensen walking down a dark street before midnight, their attention was first drawn by a flickering torch light.
But all was not what as it seemed. The Maglite torch had been converted into a gun and Christensen was carrying ecstasy pills in his bag.
Christensen, 35, pleaded guilty in the District Court at Bundaberg to possession in a public place of a category H short firearm on March 24; possession of the dangerous drug methylenedioxymeth-
amphetamine (ecstasy); supplying methylampheta-
mine; and two counts of supplying cannabis on March 6 and March 17.
He also pleaded guilty to lesser charges of having ammunition when not licensed on March 24; having utensils to smoke a dangerous drug; and unlawful use of a motor vehicle (Triton ute) on November 16, 2016.
Crown Prosecutor Carly Whelan said when police saw Christensen that night his torch was turning on and off intermittently.
A clip seal bag in his shoulder bag held four ecstasy tablets and the torch was modified as a gun, Christensen admitting it was loaded. Ms Whelan said his mobile held messages related to the supply of drugs.
"He made admissions and explained the messages were for the supply of 0.15g of methylamphetamine and the supply of $50 worth of cannabis,” she said.
Ms Whelan said it was an arrangement to supply that Christensen says did not then occur.
Barrister Jessica Horne said Christensen's conduct with the firearm did not warrant a jail term as he was simply walking down a street late at night and using the torch as intended.
"It was loaded but there was no threatening conduct,” Ms Horne said.
"There was no danger to civilians given the time of night. It was a home-made weapon a friend gave to him.”
She said Christensen had been a heavy user of ice.
"You are a very sad case really,” Judge Brendan Butler SC told Christensen.
"A qualified electrician who held a good job for many years and now you find yourself with nothing,” he said after hearing of his personal circumstances.
When Judge Butler queried if he could stay off drugs and wanted a normal life, Christensen said he definitely did.
Christensen was sentenced to nine months jail for the supply of methylamphetamine, six months for drug possession, and varying terms for the other offences.
For having a short firearm in public Christensen must complete a two-year probation order and abstain from illicit drug use.
With 160 days in custody, Christensen was released, his sentence suspended for two years.