A WARRNAMBOOL man who had a loaded sawn-off shotgun in the home he shared with his partner and infant child has had his case adjourned.
Bradley Mitchem, 27, of Laverock Road, pleaded guilty in the Warrnambool Magistrates Court to charges of unlicenced possession of a handgun, possessing a firearm with a defaced serial number, failing to store a firearm securely and using cannabis.
The court heard Mitchem was spotted sitting on the Princes Highway in Warrnambool late at night on April 14 this year in what is believed to have been a suicide attempt.
The police prosecutor told the court Mitchem was under the influence of alcohol and cannabis. He said when police arrived they found Mitchem walking up and down Laverock Road with his partner behind him, her baby son in her arms.
He said Mitchem began abusing police, encouraging them to fight him.
Police subdued him with OC spray and Mitchem was taken to hospital.
The court heard that when police entered Mitchem’s home they found a sawn-off single-barrel shotgun, loaded with a live round, in the bedroom.
When interviewed by police, Mitchem said the reason for having the gun was “to kill my missus’ stepfather”. Defence counsel Jonathan Makary said Mitchem was being “facetious” when he made the comment about his partner’s stepfather and that there was “no suggestion of any animosity” between them.
Mr Makary told the court his client had no real motive for possessing the firearm.
“He’d had it for three months and acquired it from an associate,” Mr Makary said.
“He was offered it.”
Mitchem refused to tell police where he got the shotgun.
Mr Makary agreed the incident was “a serious matter”.
“The concern for the court is there’s suicidal behaviour, alcohol, cannabis and a firearm. It’s a recipe for disaster,” he said.
He said his client had a brain tumour behind his eye, for which he had undergone surgery several times.
Mr Makary told the court the tumour was affecting Mitchem’s quality of life and asked for an adjournment to gather reports on his client’s mental and physical health.
Magistrate Jonathan Klestadt said he would adjourn the matter until July 17 “for further material to be put before me on mental health issues and medical issues”.
“Clearly it’s a significant matter. A term of imprisonment is not entirely out of the question,”