Ipswich man busted with bombs, images of dead bodies
A WEAPONS collector and contracted United Nations explosives expert has faced an Ipswich court after being sent grenades and other military items in the post.
The Commonwealth offences came to light when Ashley John Le Boydre, 49, a former army serviceman, was intercepted by Border Force officers on arrival at Brisbane International Airport.
The court was told he had flown in from Mali in Africa, where he apparently worked for a company contracted to the United Nations Mines Action Service, getting rid of explosive devices.
In evidence before an Ipswich court, Le Boydre declared on his customs card as having an item of interest - "a multi-tool" - but when questioned by officers other matters came to light including confronting images on a mobile phone SD card depicting bloodied, decapitated bodies, and bodies with crushed heads.
He was found with a torch taser in his luggage, as well as two grenade bodies and a fuse.
A Samsung tablet, USB, and SD card with a mobile phone were examined with the images located.
In evidence presented by federal prosecutor Sam Hill, 24, images of dead people were found, including some who had been decapitated.
The graphic images were deemed to be "objectionable goods" and prohibited imports under the Customs Act.
It led to his appearance before Ipswich Magistrates Court, where Le Boydre, from Karalee, pleaded guilty to Commonwealth offences including two counts of intentionally importing tier 2 goods without approval, and to lesser charges with two counts of unlawful possession of weapons; and not having authority to possess ammunition at his home.
Ammunition and nunchucks were found at his home during a search that followed his Border Force interview at the airport on September 5 last year.
The items sent in the post apparently included grenade parts, fuses, and a spring-loaded automatic knife that allegedly came from an AK-47.
Mr Hill said a package containing four grenade bodies was intercepted on July 20. A crystallised substance detected was found to be explosive residue that could provide an explosive charge if heated or not handled properly.
A parcel from France intercepted on August 5 held a grenade body and fuse.
A parcel intercepted on September 7 from Poland held a 2kg butterfly bomb. Mr Hill said it was the type used by the Germans in World War II.
Le Boydre told officers he worked on explosives devices in Mali.
As a collector, he used online auction sites to buy the items. In evidence on the state offences, police prosecutor Sergeant Bernard Elmore said officers went to his Karalee house and found 20 rounds of live ammunition, and three sets of nunchucks in a shed.
Le Boydre told police he had forgotten he had the bullets after moving here from WA.
Defence lawyer Mr Crawford said Le Boydre spent 28 years with the Australian Army and along with his UN contract work as an IED technician, had also been involved in the clean up after the Malaysian Airlines MH17 disaster in eastern Ukraine.
The court was told he was an avid collector and there was no sinister motives.
Mr Crawford said the images were taken as part of Le Boydre's work in Mali which benefitted people by defusing explosives.
With more defence information required by Magistrate Donna MacCallum on what impacts might flow on to his employment, the federal matters were adjourned until July 15. Ms MacCallum fined Le Boydre $800 for possession of the ammunition and nunchucks.