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Connecting people & communities BERWICK Thursday, 1 June, 2017

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Cop shop shotgun Number plates, several bank cards, BHP and Crown Casino identity cards, stolen laptops and hard-drives as well as deal bags of ‘ice’ were also seized. On another raid last year, police seized five lost or stolen bank cards, two identity cards, GHB, suspected crystal-meth, pharmaceutical tablets and knuckle-dusters. Hagen was also charged with three petrol drive-offs in a stolen car this year and the attempted theft of a Nissan Patrol from a Clyde North home’s driveway in September. During the latter, Hagen threatened residents with a crowbar to stop them giving chase. In December 2015, ice pipes as well as illicit drugs such as ecstasy, meth, and 1,4-butanediol were seized from his home after he was hospitalised with breathing difficulties. Hagen’s lawyer said the accused’s criminal history had only begun in 2016, despite being a “functioning” drug user for the past 11 years. Hagen was unable to apply for Dandenong Drug Court due to a full waiting list, the lawyer said. Magistrate Pauline Spencer took into account Hagen’s “good” rehabilitation prospects and that his offending was fuelled by drug addiction. But there was a need to deter firearms out in the community, particularly mixed with drug use, she said. “And particularly when you’re in a vehicle in the judicial precinct and carrying a loaded shotgun in our community. “If you choose to carry a weapon, to carry a gun, you’ll go to jail. It needs to be a clear message.” Ms Spencer said the “significant amount” of proceeds-of-crime also needed to be punished with additional jail time. Hagen was jailed for two years including a non-parole period of up to 12 months. He was also disqualified from driving for six months and fined $2000.

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Guns out for comics fest Deza-Con III was back with a vengeance this year, with over 400 people attending the third incarnation of the region’s only pop culture event. Cosplayers, gaming enthusiasts and comic book lovers all turned out to the Narre Community Learning Centre on Saturday 27 May to share their love of all things pop culture. Event organiser and father of Deza-Con, Roy Condeza, appears here flanked by Craig Wood in Halo armour and Walter Bolitho in Call of Duty 4 armour. There were events within events at the convention, with the cosplay competition bringing out the best costume adaptions and re-creations in the area. There were also local comic book artists set up in the newly introduced Artists’ Alley, as well as a Nintendo Game Zone set up by Nintensive Gaming. The proceeds from the refreshment crew were donated to local humanitarian group Transit and the proceeds from the Nintensive Games Zine donated to the Peter Mac Cancer Research Centre. Vendors, stall holders, artists and cosplayers interested in participating in the next Deza-Con and contact Roy Condeza on 0402 019 201 or rcondeza@hotmail.com. Picture: ROB CAREW

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A Cranbourne man parked outside Dandenong police station with a loaded, doublebarrelled sawn-off shotgun, a balaclava, a hockey mask and the drug ‘ice’ had no “malicious intention”, a court was told. Joshua Hagen, 32, was intercepted by police in a car with two females in Langhorne Street on 2 March, while his mate sat inside the station’s cells. Hours earlier, police had launched a morning raid of Hagen’s bedroom in his absence. On his arrest, Hagen told police that he was merely dropping off clothes to his locked-up mate. He didn’t want to leave the gun - loaded and with five spare cartridges on hand - lying around his father’s home, he told them. Appearing by video link, Hagen pleaded guilty to a suite of charges at Dandenong Magistrates’ Court on 29 May. The most serious was being a prohibited person with a loaded firearm in public, and possessing a firearm without a serial number. “All of the (seized) items were believed to be for criminal intent,” prosecutor Senior Constable Ben Hodson told the court. “He had a loaded double-barrelled shotgun in front of Dandenong police station and was also in possession of methamphetamine. “It doesn’t go well together.” Hagen’s lawyer admitted the “suspicious” circumstances but said the accused had merely given a lift to his mate’s pregnant partner to visit him in the cells. “He was going to wait and drive her back home. “He has instructed very clearly that there was no malicious intention.” During the earlier house raid, police found an array of ammunition including loaded magazines suitable for an AK-47 assault rifle, as well as camouflage top and pants and a security firm’s shirt. There was also a bevy of suspected stolen goods, such as 51 sets of car keys, a box of watches and watch faces, and other jewellery.

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By Cam Lucadou-Wells

News - Berwick - 01st June 2017