Michael Diamond: Olympic shooter to appeal conviction for firearm offences

APPEAL: Michael Diamond leaving Raymond Terrace Local Court. Picture: SAM RIGNEY
APPEAL: Michael Diamond leaving Raymond Terrace Local Court. Picture: SAM RIGNEY

SIX-TIME Olympian Michael Diamond will appeal against his conviction for three firearm offences that threaten to end his illustrious shooting career.

Michael Constantine Diamond, 44, was banned from holding a gun license for 10 years after he was found guilty of four offences, including high-range drink driving, in Raymond Terrace Local Court in May.

But Michael Diamond’s legal team have lodged an all-grounds appeal, with the matter due to be mentioned in Newcastle District Court on Thursday.

Diamond was “drunk” and playing loud music when he and his older brother, John Diamond, started arguing about 9pm on May 21 last year.

“I rang the police and he grabbed his shotgun, which was behind my couch, and he jumped in the car and took off,” John Diamond told Raymond Terrace Local Court during the hearing.  

Police later found Michael Diamond out of his car on Shoal Bay Road. 

A search of the vehicle revealed a dissembled gun in its case and ammunition loose in the car, the court heard. 

He was later breath-tested and returned a reading of 0.159. 

But the defence case was that the breath-test was conducted outside the prescribed two-hour period from when he is alleged to have driven the vehicle. 

They also claimed the search of his car was illegal. 

But after hearing three days of evidence – including two days in May – Magistrate Caleb Franklin found Michael Diamond guilty of all four offences.

Diamond was convicted, placed on a 12-month good behaviour bond, banned from using a firearm for 10 years and disqualified from driving for six months.  

The ban could mean the end of his competitive shooting career, which was highlighted by two Olympic trap shooting gold medals.

Michael Diamond’s legal team had pushed for him to avoid a conviction, citing the impact it would have on his life.

The charges had initially resulted in a suspension of Michael Diamond’s firearm license and his legal team had worked to expedite a hearing to clear his name before the team selection for the Olympic games in Rio.

But Mr Franklin denied the application in June last year and Diamond’s hopes of competing were dashed completely when Shooting Australia decided not to nominate him for selection a few weeks later. 

On Thursday, the matter will likely be adjourned for a hearing date later in the year.