A DOONAN man trying to protect his mother found himself in Gympie Magistrates Court this week, charged with one of the most serious classifications of smuggling offence known to Australian law.
Peter Andrew Gates, 50, pleaded guilty to intentionally importing a taser without approval, in breach of the Customs Act.
The electric shock weapon is part of the wide-ranging Tier 2 group of goods which under the Act also includes firearms, capsicum sprays, nerve gas, radioactive substances, human body tissue, child pornography and counterfeit credit cards.
But the court was told Gates had good intentions relating to the safety of his mother, who had recently been the victim of a break and enter in which a man she did not know had entered her bedroom and stood over her bed.
Gates had been concerned for his mother's safety, as he was frequently out of the country in the course of his work in the gas drilling industry.
His legal representative told the court he had advised Gates of the danger of such devices being turned on the person trying to act in self-defence.
Magistrate Ross Woodford said it would have been better if the offence could have been dealt with alongside other matters in July. He said he would have imposed a fine with no conviction recorded, so as not to interfere with Gates' need to travel overseas for work. But the court was told federal law did not allow this. Instead, Mr Woodford placed Gates on a $500 good behaviour bond for a year.