Snakes, drugs, guns: Gunshots lead cops to Lockyer caravan
A BRICKLAYER who lives in a caravan with two pythons called the snakes "pets" - but police found he was not licenced to keep the slithery critters.
Similarly, Jye Wayne O'Donnell, 24, was also not licenced to own guns, as Gatton Magistrates Court heard.
Police prosecutor Rohan Brewster-Webb said the sound of gunshots and loud music coming from a caravan on Plainland acreage drew police to O'Donnell's home just before 2am on May 24.
"Police have approached, knocked on the door, asked the occupant to open it," Mr Brewster-Webb said.
"He took 30 seconds to open the door, during which time police could hear shifting of items in the caravan."
When O'Donnell opened the door, police spotted spent ammunition lying all over the caravan's floor and could smell "burnt canvas".
Searching the place, police found a Remington model 788 .22 bolt-action rifle in a wooden box near the door, which Mr Brewster-Webb said was stored unsafely.
They also found 28 pieces of ammunition, most of which was stored in the microwave, drug utensils, dried marijuana and another gun.
"Police have located a gevarm .22 LR 5.5 semiautomatic rifle with no serial number in box near the doorway," Mr Brewster-Webb said.
When police tried to interview O'Donnell, they realised he was too drunk.
The court heard the caravan was searched again six weeks later, this time housing two snakes, one of which loomed in a cupboard.
"Police observed a carpet python in an overhead storage cupboard in the caravan - (O'Donnell) said he kept the snake as a pet but did not possess a permit," Mr Brewster-Webb said.
Police found a second python - this one in an enclosure - and dried marijuana, which O'Donnell said was from before the last time police came by.
He pleaded guilty to ten charges, including items relating to drugs, firearms and snakes.
Mr Brewster-Webb told Magistrate Kay Ryan that O'Donnell had been ordered to serve two years' of imprisonment in Ipswich District Court in 2017 for trafficking and other drug offences.
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Defence lawyer Alysha Jacobsen of Bouchier Khan Lawyers said O'Donnell had used marijuana for ten years
"He instructs that he uses cannabis every day in relation to his pain he suffers and it also relaxes him," Ms Jacobsen said.
"About 12 months ago, he was involved in a dirt bike accident and sustained two broken legs, two bones in one foot were broken and nine in the other (foot).
"Effectively, he was in a wheelchair for about three or four months and is still struggling to walk."
She said the types of the snakes were classed as of "least concern" in terms of protected species.
Ms Ryan told O'Donnell it wasn't America, that guns were banned in Australia.
"We try to control them here because they get stolen, people can use them - they use them against you, other people, and we end up with even worse violence in the community," Ms Ryan said.
"The snakes - I have a bit of concern about them - you have to have authorisation to keep this type of animal because they need special treatment."
She told O'Donnell she noted he had never been given the benefit of probation.
For the weapons offences, O'Donnell was served a three months' suspended sentence; for the drugs charges, he was served an 18-month term of probation; and for the snakes he was fined $400.
"You've been on drugs for so long, perhaps a therapeutic intervention (is better than) no drugs at all - that might be setting you up to fail," Ms Ryan said.
The convictions were recorded and the snakes, weapons and drugs were ordered to be forfeited.
Read more news by Ebony Graveur.