A Berkeley man who used a high-powered rifle to shoot and kill two deer close to homes at Figtree did not have the appropriate licences to hunt wild game or fire the rifle he used to bring down the animals, a court has heard.
Jason Raymond John Delia, 19, yesterday admitted he did not possess the required licence to hunt game animals when he shot the doe and stag on private property off Goodbury Avenue on June 28 this year.
Wollongong Local Court heard a resident of the street reported hearing several loud noises "similar to fireworks exploding" between 10 and 11 o'clock that morning, before seeing Delia and a woman loading the carcass of one of the animals into the rear of a vehicle.
The witness said the vehicle drove away but returned less than an hour later and the three men inside, including Delia, picked up the second carcass.
The witness contacted police to report the matter and provided a description of the car used to move the animals.
Delia was arrested a week later and charged with a string of offences related to the shooting.
He yesterday pleaded guilty to one count of hunting game on private land without a licence and one count of using an unauthorised firearm.
The court heard the rifle Delia used to kill the deer was capable of firing a distance of up to three kilometres, however, was being used within 500 metres of surrounding houses.
Delia's lawyer, Paul Paine, attempted to argue that his client had been ignorant of the "residential" classification of the land in which he was shooting, however, Magistrate Susan McGowan rejected the claim, saying the area was "clearly not rural land".
"There's not one photo before the court that doesn't show a house," Ms McGowan said, referring to pictures of the location that were presented to the court as part of the prosecution case against Delia.
"I agree with the prosecution submission that it was a dangerous situation and the potential for danger was high."
The court heard Delia had applied for the required licence from the NSW Game Council on July 4, five days after the shooting but two days before police interviewed him on the matter.
Ms McGowan said that move suggested Delia knew he had been shooting without the right permits in place.
"The legislation surrounding hunting is onerous for a reason," Ms McGowan told Delia.
"It's your obligation to make sure no 'T's are left uncrossed and no 'I's left undotted."
She noted Delia now had the right licences and said she was satisfied he had learnt his lesson and wouldn't commit the same crime in the future.
He was ordered to pay a total of $1300 in fines.