Man allegedly 'caught with handgun' at Mackay shopping centre
A MACKAY man has allegedly been caught by police carrying a handgun in a Mount Pleasant shopping centre.
Kane Charles Bell from Andergrove was caught with the firearm at Mount Pleasant Centre on Friday afternoon, Queensland Police allege.
Officers claim they recognised and approached Bell while dealing with separate matters at the shopping centre, and he admitted he had the gun in his possession.
Bell faced Mackay Magistrates Court from custody on Monday, applying for bail through barrister Phillip Moore.
The 22-year-old did not enter a plea to a charge of unlawfully possessing a shortened (category D/H/R) firearm on November 3.
Mr Moore told Magistrate Damien Dwyer that Bell had previously been convicted of armed robbery and had been released from jail in May.
But Mr Moore added no gun was involved in that offence and said Bell had accompanied a man wielding a knife.
Mr Dwyer noted during the bail hearing there seemed to be a "very strong case" against Bell and if convicted of the "very serious" charge he could expect a mandatory minimum sentence of one year in jail.
Prosecutor Anna Ellis opposed bail, tendering supporting documents for Mr Dwyer's perusal.
Mr Moore described Bell as a young, unemployed man who had been living with his mother and "keeping out of trouble".
He said Bell had been "trying to be a good role model to his younger sister" since his release from jail.
Mr Moore said he was looking into a "reasonable excuse" defence.
He also described Bell as cooperative with police and said he "volunteered the firearm when questioned" by officers.
Bell has no history of failing to appear for court appearances or relating to the Bail Act, Mr Moore said.
"He's living in a very stable situation. His mother tells me that he has a very close relationship to his sister," he said.
Mr Moore said Bell deserved a chance to "say goodbye" to his sister before any eventual imprisonment.
But Mr Dwyer said Bell had a "terrible history" of violence.
The magistrate denied bail due to an "unacceptable risk of re-offending" and remanded Bell to appear again in the court on November 27.