Jailed repeat offender vows to repent

A MILDURA man with 14 pages of criminal history in Victoria says he doesn’t want to fall back into his old ways after his release from jail for being in possession of two shotguns.

The Mildura Magistrates’ Court this week heard that Zac Michael Tatchell, 30, was asked by police if he had any weapons at his residence just minutes after he was handed a court order prohibiting him from possessing, using or carrying a firearm.

Police from the Mildura Armed Crime Squad attended Tatchell’s Ontario Avenue home in September last year to give him the order when he denied having any firearms at the property.

However a subsequent search uncovered a side-by-side sawn-off shot gun and a further single barrel shotgun under his bed.

While a serial number had been removed from one of the guns, investigators discovered the other weapon had been stolen from a Mildura address in late 2017.

A ballistics examination of the weapons showed both were capable of discharge.

Prosecutor Senior-Constable Kristen Simm said Tatchell told police he liked the look of the guns and had buried them “somewhere away” some time ago before hiding them under his bed.

Sen-Constable Simm said Tatchell claimed to have been stood over and needed the guns for protection, a claim his defence counsel denied.

She told the court her client had a lifelong struggle with drugs which he used to escape reality.

The court heard he got “clean” after drug-related offending in 2015 but again returned to using drugs late last year to cope during the final throes of a relationship breakdown.

She said Tatchell still had old associates and found it “so easy to get the gear”.

However, the court was told Tatchell wanted to get work in the construction industry in Melbourne upon his release.

“He doesn’t want to be sent back here to fall back into his old ways,” his counsel said.

She said the guns were not intended for “any violent purpose”.

Magistrate Pauline Spencer said Tatchell’s claim of being robbed a couple of days before the firearms were found did not ring true and sentenced him to an aggregate nine months’ jail to be followed by a 12-month Community Corrections Order upon release.

Tatchell has already spent 128 days in custody.

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