Olympic Champion Michael Diamond found guilty of firearms and drink-driving offences

Olympic trap shooting champion Michael Diamond’s career is over after he was banned from holding a gun licence for 10 years.

A visibly upset Diamond said “no comment” outside of Raymond Terrace Local Court after he was found guilty and convicted of three firearm offences and high-range drink driving following a three-day hearing.

In a triple-zero phone call to police, the brother of Olympic shooter Michael Diamond said he was threatened by the alcohol-affected gold medallist before he drove away with a gun in his car.

“My brother has been threatening me … he’s just jumped in his car, he’s had alcohol”, John Diamond says in the recording that was played to Raymond Terrace Local Court on Wednesday.

“He’s just put his shotgun in the back of his car.”

Michael Diamond has pleaded not guilty to four charges relating to driving under the influence and gun and ammunition storage in May 2016.

In the back of the car, police say they found a shotgun in an unlocked case and about 110 loose shotgun shells “rolling around” in the back seat.

Senior Constable Damian Cullen told the court he and a colleague found Diamond standing a few metres from his car in Shoal Bay, on May 21, where he refused a breath test.

Diamond told police he had not been driving the car, and that it had been parked there all day, Const Cullen said.

But Sergeant Ian Allwood told the court Diamond’s car was warm when he arrived at the scene soon after Const Cullen and his partner.

“You could feel the warmth coming from the bonnet area of the car,” Sgt Allwood said.

The Olympian later blew three times over the limit, according to police, but Diamond’s lawyers have disputed the time frame in which he was tested for alcohol and the validity of the vehicle search.

Barrister Daniel McMahon asked for the magistrate to proceed without a conviction under section 10 following the guilty verdict.

He said his client would “effectively be without his professional career” and “without a capacity to earn a livelihood” because he had left school at the age of 12 to pursue professional shooting. However Magistrate Caleb Franklin said Diamond had already had the benefit of escaping a conviction in 2004 when he failed to store a firearm safely.

The accused remains stripped of his gun licence and missed out on what would have been his seventh Olympic Games in Rio last year.




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