A MAN caught with police issue clothing emblazoned with TRG emblems said he had the items for protection.
David Freedman pleaded guilty to one charge of unauthorised possession of police clothing and was fined $500 by Magistrate Leanne Atkins.
The prosecutor said police came across a Mitsubishi magna in Waikiki with three antennas across the top of its rear window, police style light bulbs attached to one of the antennas and rear facing cameras in the top of the rear window.
Police further found a police issue cap, vest and raincoat.
The cap and items had WA police insignia removed but instead had patches with the acronym TRG sewn to them.
The blue and white checker striping was still on the clothing.
The prosecutor said Freedman had criminal records from Queensland, Victoria and WA.
Freedman’s lawyer said the 75-year-old was a licensed firearms dealer and warehouser, and had been heavily involved in competitive pistol shooting most of his life.
He said Freedman had put the TRG emblems on the clothes as it stood for his business name, Tactical Rifles and Guns.
During a competition in Queensland eight years ago, Freedman met a man and was discussing his fear of being shot on the range while he was affixing scopes.
His new acquaintance, a retired police officer, said he could help and offered the clothes as they were hi-vis and Freedman would be safe, as he would be easily seen.
The lawyer said Freedman did check with the assistant commissioner’s office but did not disclose from whom he got the items.
Freedman claimed the person said it would be okay, provided no police insignia was on the jacket.
“He has been involved with firearms all his life and is fastidious about safety; it was for that reason that he was in possession of the items,” Mr Freedman’s lawyer said.
“The light, camera and antennas are all there for safety as he is often transporting guns and collecting guns for customers.”
The lawyer sought a fine for Freedman and asked for leniency.
Magistrate Atkins said the case was “alarming”.
“It is serious cause for concern as you had TRG on the items and police striping,” she said.
“There needs to be general deterrence so the public at large know it is not ok to have these items.
“There is little need for personal deterrence as I think it unlikely you will get your hands on any more police uniforms.”
She imposed a $500 fine and ordered the clothing be forfeited.
Freedman said he did not know about the TRG.
“I was not aware of the TRG because I was in Queensland and Victoria for a long time your honour,” he said.