Seized items banned, but easy to buy online

A SMALL cache of banned weapons and items found inside a man’s home were easily bought online, a court has heard.

Jesse Thomas Nicol, 37, appeared almost relieved when police came knocking at his Barooga Street home in North Albury last month.

Nicol, who pleaded guilty to nine charges relating to firearms and steroids offences in Albury Local Court on Monday, had pointed out the items to police during the raid on April 26.

He was happy to assist the detectives, who had received a tip off about the illegal sale of an unregistered .22 rifle from the night before.

Nicol bought the gun for $500 despite never having held a firearm licence and having no safe way to store it.

The search also found an antique 1849 Colt black powder pistol, which he said he had bought from a dealer in Canberra for $2500.

The dealer told him to check if he could legally possess the gun in other states, but he didn’t. 

He had purchased a short spear gun under the legal measurements from a Chinese company on Ebay, and a $300 ballistic vest the same way.

The 37-year-old wasn’t shy about showing off the spear gun and vest, along with a range of other hunting items, having posed for photos and posted the images on Facebook.

Nicol had also paid $800 for three vials of steroids a few weeks earlier, knowing it was wrong but wanting to run the risk anyway.

He had taken ownership of the offending, investigators said, “and appeared at times to be remorseful and somewhat relieved with police intervention”.

Nicol bought the rifle in the belief it could be registered, and planned to shoot snakes and euthanise animals at a property he owns. 

He was released on bail during a hearing the day after his home was raided.

He told magistrate Rodney Brender he had to care for his sick partner, who is at times bedridden. 

The magistrate said it was “unusual” for a person charged with such offences to be released. 

Nicol on Monday entered guilty pleas to nine charges. 

Police withdrew three other charges. 

Shannon Devos allegedly sold Nicol the rifle and a search of his Douglas Road home allegedly found 220 grams of marijuana, a cannabis plant and an ecstasy pill.

Devos, who has been charged with firearm supply and remains behind bars, will return to court on June 12.

Nicol will be sentenced on June 28.