A file photo of a samurai sword. A MAN found in possession of a large samurai sword and a sawn-off shotgun at Salt Ash has been sentenced to a maximum of 12 months in jail in Raymond Terrace Local Court.
Shane Peter Bowling, 41, claimed to be a collector of weapons intent on repairing the firearm to its former glory.
But Bowling, of Troman Parade, Raymond Terrace, was nervous, constantly fidgeting and couldn’t stand still when police spoke to him inSalt Ash Avenue about 8.15am on December 9 last year, court documents state.
Police had received a call about a suspicious man and arrived to find Bowling standing next to a grey Holden Commodore.
The car had broken down, Bowling explained, and he didn’t want to leave it.
He had been there a few hours, he said, and had earlier been accompanied by a mate.
But when quizzed about this mystery man, Bowling couldn’t remember his name, where he lived or how long before he had left the location.
Police checked Bowling’s lengthy criminal history and saw that he had recently been spoken to about stolen property.
They assumed he was nervous, and didn’t want to leave the vehicle,because there was stolen goods hidden somewhere in the car.
But when police searched his car they found a backpack that contained a green Woolworth bag wrapped around a double-barreled shotgun.
When asked what the item was, Bowling replied: “A shotgun barrel. “It’s just a collectible. It doesn’t fire or anything. I was just going to restore it.”
Police kept searching and found a large samurai sword in the boot of the car, court documents state.
Bowling was arrested and initially refused bail by Port Stephens police due to his lengthy criminal history and the seriousness of the charges.
But after spending the day in custody, he was granted bail in Maitland Local Court on December 9.
He had pleaded guilty to possession of a shortened firearm without authority, a charge which carries a maximum of 14 years, and custody of a knife in a public place.
Bowling remained at liberty until Magistrate Caleb Franklin ruled the offences deserved a custodial sentence.
He jailed Bowling for a maximum of 12 months, with a non-parole period of eight months for the firearm offence.
Bowling will be eligible for parole on October 26.