Pistol used to shoot peacocks puts local man in the dock
A MAN who said he owned what looked like a Beretta self-loading pistol to deter marauding peacocks, has been sentenced to a 12-month community corrections order.
On Monday Brian Leslie Flentjar, 46, of Waterview Heights, appeared by video link in Grafton Local Court to answer a charge of possessing a prohibited firearm, possessing a prohibited drug and driving unregistered and unlicensed.
Police said Flentjar came to their notice on August 30 around 1am when a patrolling car noticed a black Jeep in Abbott St near the closed Royal Hotel in South Grafton.
The jeep turned left without indicating and began travelling west along Ryan St when police decided to pull the vehicle over.
They said a man exited the driver's side of the vehicle and there was a female in the front passenger seat.
Police said the driver, Flentjar, quickly admitted he should not be driving and he didn't realise the car was not registered.
Police decided to search the occupants and turned up a small amount of cannabis on the female and nothing illegal on Flentjar.
But they struck gold inside the car when they emptied a satchel bag which contained a resealable plastic bag with 0.52g of methyl amphetamine and inside the main pouch an, M21 6mm BB pistol, capable of firing pellets.
Its magazine with a 13-projectile capacity was fully loaded in the pistol and there was another full magazine in the bag.
Police said the pistol resembled a Beretta self-loading pistol and its orange muzzle tip often used in toys, had been painted black.
Flentjar told police he considered the gun a toy and he had bought it in Queensland and used it to shoot peacocks which strayed onto his property. Police said Flentjar then demonstrated how to load and fire the weapon.
Police said Flentjar had never possessed a licence for the firearm.
Magistrate Kathy Crittenden determined that while the pistol was a prohibited firearm, it's small calibre and limited range put it at the low end of the scale of prohibited weapons.
She was more concerned it's appearance as a replica of a more serious weapon could be illegal.
Defence solicitor said although the pistol resembled a Beretta, it was a fully functioning BB pistol, so was, strictly speaking, not a replica.
The prosecution was concerned, although the pistol was not a high-end weapon, a pellet in the eye could cause serious injury.
In sentencing Flentjar Ms Crittenden took into account he had been in custody for 11 days. She imposed a 12-month community corrections order for the firearms and drug offences. She also imposed a nine-month disqualification period for the drive unlicensed and fined him $300 for driving an unregistered vehicle.