John Ibrahim’s Girlfriend Not Guilty Of Stashing Stolen Gun

, John Ibrahim’s Girlfriend Not Guilty Of Stashing Stolen Gun

John Ibrahim’s Girlfriend Not Guilty Of Stashing Stolen Gun

In August 2017, Australian Federal Police discovered a stolen Glock 26 handgun and loaded magazine in a T2 cardboard box at the bottom of Ms Sarah Budge’s bedroom wardrobe in her Double Bay unit.

After spending the night in police cells Ms Budge alleged that she confronted her boyfriend Mr John Ibrahim about how the Glock got to her bedroom to which he responded “it is best that you don’t know as you are in enough trouble as it is.

THE STORY

It was reported yesterday that the girlfriend of Kings Cross identity John Ibrahim has burst into tears after she was found not guilty of weapons offences.

Sarah Budge, 29, was cleared of charges related to the ammunition and defacing of the pistol yesterday.

Today a jury of 11 delivered a majority verdict on the most serious charge of stashing the Glock pistol.

She made her boyfriend the scapegoat in an at times bizarre trial, arguing she had no knowledge of the handgun found in her Double Bay wardrobe by Australian Federal Police officers in August 2017.

Budge argued Mr Ibrahim or someone close to him put it there without her knowledge.

She told the court after she was charged, she confronted her boyfriend over it, but he refused to tell her how it got there because she was in enough trouble.

DNA of an unidentified male was found on the trigger of the weapon and the beanie it was wrapped in.

DNA belonging to the same person was found on the wax strips used to remove two human eyebrows from a man known as Ryan Watsford.

The jury was shown a video of Mr Ibrahim helping to wax off Mr Watsford’s eyebrows and posing with them afterwards.

They were found in the lounge room of his Dover Heights mansion.

The defence argued it was highly likely the DNA belonged to Mr Ibrahim, although he has never given a sample to police so that could not be verified.

The model and restaurant manager denied she kept the gun in her apartment because she was worried about the fallout from the release of her boyfriend’s autobiography.

The trial was at times highly personal, text messages read out in which Budge spoke about wanting to have a child with the 51-year-old, and on other occasions accused him of ignoring her.

She also told the court of an occasion around the time of the raid when he described himself as single in a radio interview.

“I had just worked on a book with him for eight months and he wasn’t giving me any credit for helping him and it was a bit of a kick to the face,” she said.

She cried as she told the court why she stayed with Mr Ibrahim after she was charged.

“Because I don’t think he deliberately put me in this bad position.”

Mr Ibrahim did not attend the trial but the court heard they are still a couple.

WHAT ARE FIREARMS OR WEAPONS OFFENCES?

Without a licence or exemption, it is illegal to possess or use firearms or weapons or to carry ordinary items for use as a weapon in NSW.

POSSESSING A PISTOL

Pursuant to section 7A of the Firearms Act 1996 (NSW) a person must not possess a firearm unless the person has a licence or permit to do so. A person is only permitted to possess a firearm within the category of licence held.

The maximum penalty for this offence is imprisonment for 5 years.

POSSESSING A PISTOL WITH THE SERIAL NUMBER DEFACED

Pursuant to section 66 of the Firearms Act 1996 (NSW) a person must not, unless authorised by the Commissioner to do so deface or alter any number, letter or identification mark on any firearm or firearm part, or use, supply, acquire or possess a defaced firearm or give possession of a defaced firearm to another person, or supply, acquire or possess a defaced firearm part or give possession of a defaced firearm part to another person.

The maximum penalty for this offence is imprisonment for 14 years.

IF YOU ARE CHARGED WITH THE OFFENCE OF POSSESSION OF FIREARM OR WEAPON WHAT ARE YOUR OPTIONS?

National Criminal Lawyers (NCL) have been successful in defending a number of Firearms/Weapons charges where the prosecution could not establish each of the elements. We have also achieved a number of non-convictions for Firearm/Weapon charges.

NCL offer the following options for those who have been charged with Firearms or weapons offences;

  1. We will negotiate with prosecutors (police or DPP) (a term referred to as “plea negotiations”) to request that the charge is withdrawn, downgraded or fact sheets amended;
  2. NCL will Plead Not Guilty and go to hearing/trial and persuade the Court that prosecution has not proven its case beyond reasonable doubt;
  3. Plead guilty to the elements of the charge and then dispute the facts (at a special “disputed facts” hearing) with the view of having you sentenced less harshly; and/or
  4. Plead guilty with full acceptance of the facts as set out by the police and make strong submissions on your behalf requesting that the Court not record a criminal conviction.

To read more about this offence, click on this link.

To read our previous blog on Firearm Prohibition Orders, click here.

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