News State Victoria News Mick Gatto fined after loaded gun found in his house

Mick Gatto fined after loaded gun found in his house

Gatto's reasoning was not accepted by the Court. Photo: Getty
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Gangland identity Mick Gatto had a loaded shotgun hidden at his house because “the Colombians and half the Melbourne underworld were after him”.

Gatto on Monday pleaded guilty to two charges over the unregistered sawn-off shotgun and ammunition, which were found in a cavity behind a cabinet in an ensuite of his Lower Plenty home in February.

The 60-year-old was convicted and fined $2500 in the Heidelberg Magistrates Court, and told reporters outside he was relieved it was over and thanked his legal team.

The court heard organised crime figure Mario Condello gave Gatto the gun in 2005, following Gatto’s acquittal over the death of suspected hitman Andrew Veniamin.

Condello was shot dead in his driveway in 2006.

“You can imagine Mr Gatto thinking, I might be next,” his barrister Sean Cash said.

Gatto had been warned his life was in danger as the city’s bloody gangland war raged, the court heard.

Police warned him of credible threats to his life following the 2003 murder of Graham “The Munster” Kinniburgh.

“So many people known to him were being brutally murdered,” Mr Cash told the court.

“It was for no other reason he had the gun.”

Mr Cash said Gatto read a newspaper report late last year that said a Colombian drug cartel was plotting to have him murdered.

“Mr Gatto had the Colombians and half the Melbourne underworld after him,” he said.

Police raided Gatto’s home in February over an unrelated matter.

He pleaded guilty to possessing an unregistered longarm and possessing ammunition without a licence.

The court heard he was self-employed as a mediator in the building industry.

Magistrates Carolene Gwynn accepted Gatto had a genuine fear for his safety, but said it wasn’t an excuse.

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