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Ex-soldier planned to kill teacher, pets

Date

Mark Russell

The scene at the time of the raids.

The scene at the time of the raids.

A former soldier who stockpiled an arsenal of weapons and bombs at his mother's house planned to kill his former school teacher, a court heard today.

County Court judge Mark Dean said Christopher Gray had made notes on how he planned to enter his teacher's house and kill the teacher, the teacher's family and their pets.

Gray was found with images of Hitler, Osama bin Laden, the Columbine high school massacre, white supremacists, Nazis, and military-style weapons on his computer.

Gray, 23, pleaded guilty to 12 charges of possessing and manufacturing explosive devices and weapons. He faces a maximum of 15 years' jail.

Prosecutor Diana Hogan told the court police searched Gray's bedroom at his mother's Kurunjang home on December 14, 2011, and found a loaded sawn-off Stirling bolt action repeater rifle with a telescopic sight, a Winchester rifle, a home-made pen knife pistol, bags of bullets, silencers, torches, knives, and knuckle dusters.

A home-made pistol, two home-made silencers, four knuckle-dusters, three Samurai swords, and a green metal box with the words, 'Front Towards Enemy' printed on it, were found in the garage.

In Gray's car there was a sawn off shotgun, an ammunition belt with 18 cartridges, a black woollen balaclava and a black pair of gloves.

When police went back to re-examine Gray's bedroom they found a plastic bottle with a timing device attached to it. Smoke was coming from the box so police left the house and alerted the fire brigade.

The Victoria Police Bomb Response Unit was called in and police evacuated nearby houses and blocked off streets.

The unit spent three days examining the house and found numerous pipe bombs capable of causing serious injury or death.

Officers also found notebooks containing handwritten notes and drawings that included instructions on how to make explosive devices.

Police also seized a tape containing footage of Gray detonating a pipe bomb in a small plastic toy car and detonating an explosive device in the backyard.

Defence lawyer Tim Fitzpatrick said Gray had always had a fascination with the Army and joined up in 2009 before being discharged a year later when he fired a shot at the Holsworthy army barracks during training.

Judge Dean said he had a complex, difficult sentencing exercise ahead of him because Gray was a man claiming to be a neo-Nazi suffering from delusional paranoia and found to be in possession of an arsenal of weapons and explosives which could have been used to seriously injure or kill many people.

Gray had an IQ of 120 and saw himself as a "superior being" but had serious mental health issues.

At one stage he was seeing gargoyles and demonic figures talking to him through the television.

Judge Dean said the community expected that any sentence he imposed on Gray would offer them a high degree of protection.

The case was adjourned to March 18 for further submissions.

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