A BURGLAR who discarded his cigarette butt at a Strathdale property inadvertently left his DNA at the scene of one of his crimes, leading the police straight to him, the Victorian County Court heard on Tuesday.
Joshua Luke Gahan, 31 of Kangaroo Flat, pleaded guilty to a string of charges, including theft of firearms from gun safes at multiple properties and fashioning a stapler into a pistol.
Prosecutor David Cordy said law enforcement agencies had never recovered the four firearms stolen from the Strathdale property where the cigarette was collected for forensic testing.
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He said police executed a search warrant at Gahan's home and found other guns, including an antique reproduction pistol and a revolver, buried in the backyard.
A silencer was discovered in a tool box in the rear garden and ammunition was found inside a barrel at the property.
The thefts occurred in Strathdale, Wedderburn and Wychitella in November and December of 2020.
The court was told that Gahan was prohibited from possessing firearms at the time of the offences.
Mr Cordy said Gahan's self-confessed drug use, combined with his interest in homemade and modified guns, made him a "menace" to the community.
"The homemade pistol is capable of being fired," he said.
Mr Cordy said it had been made from a "heavy duty stapler" and a rifle barrel.
"A firearms expert was able to discharge the pistol," he said.
Gahan also pleaded guilty to stealing a Kawasaki motorcycle, a solar panel, a coin collection, jewellery, ID cards, a rifle bolt and magazine and a Holden Commodore.
He admitted to being in possession of two stolen Eftpos machines, power tools and locksmith equipment.
Defence barrister Tas Antos said Gahan had pleaded guilty early on in the court process, saving the time and expense of a trial and was entitled to reduction in his sentence for that reason.
Mr Antos said Gahan endured a difficult childhood and had developed post-traumatic stress disorder which contributed to his drug-taking.
Mr Antos said Gahan had committed the offences to get money to support his drug habit and lifestyle.
However, Mr Cordy said that Gahan had prior convictions for manufacturing and altering firearms and the weapons found buried in the yard were evidently "not for sale".
Judge Claire Quin adjourned the case for sentencing on March 8.
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