A NELLIGEN man has been cleared of all charges, two years after a dozen unregistered or prohibited firearms and almost 50 cannabis plants were seized from his property.
Florian Peter Fortuna, 50, was found not guilty earlier this month at the Nowra District Court, defence counsel Warren Dickson said, on the grounds that all but one of the firearms had been in locations that had not been accessed by Mr Fortuna or any of his family living on the property at the time of the search.
Mr Dickson said extensive DNA testing and fingerprinting evidence taken from the weapons excluded Mr Fortuna as a possible contributor.
He said the remaining firearm was an air rifle, which forensic evidence had shown was incapable of being fired due to insufficient air pressure.
Mr Dickson said the court found Mr Fortuna to be of good character and accepted his testimony completely.
The court also awarded him costs partly on the basis that, Mr Dickson said, if the prosecution had all relevant
facts before proceedings were instituted, it would not have been reasonable to institute proceedings.
The cultivation of a prohibited plant charges had already been dismissed by the committal hearing stage, as Mr Fortuna did not have control or access to the property on which the plantation was located, the solicitor said.