Ex-cop's huge weapons stash
A FORMER police officer has been busted in Townsville with hundreds of illegally imported weapons.
Australian Border Force officers found 81 knuckle dusters, 30 automatic knives, nine push knives, 61 concealed blades, seven hand or foot claws, 53 laser pointers, two BB guns and 52 BB pellets when they raided a Kirwan home in January.
Former New South Wales police officer Mark Douglas John McIntyre faced Townsville Magistrates Court yesterday where he argued the items were not for commercial use.
He told the court he had a fascination with weapons and had hundreds of knives and other weaponry in his collection that was legally obtained.
"I've been an avid collector of weaponry and knives since my joining the NSW police force," McIntyre said.
"Most of the collection I've built up has been through while I was in the police force."
Magistrate Cathy Wadley said a psychological report suggested McIntyre imported the weapons as a form of "retail therapy" after experiencing trauma in his time as a police officer.
Mrs Wadley accepted McIntyre was a collector but said it was difficult to understand how such a large number could be for personal use.
"Given the sheer quantity of items there is the risk that these items can end up in the hands of someone with sinister motives," Mrs Wadley said.
Prosecutor Tim Foley said McIntyre was caught attempting to import a knuckle duster three times in Sydney, Melbourne and Townsville between October 2017 and January 2018.
Mr Foley said the vast majority of weapons found managed to get past border security.
Mr Foley said McIntyre had received official warnings of his behaviour with several seizure notices sent to him in the past when illegal goods he was attempting to import were stopped by authorities.
McIntyre pleaded guilty to possessing smuggled goods and three counts of importing prohibited items.
He was fined $8000 but elected to have that transferred into 260 hours of community service.