The shotgun used in the fatal Brighton terror siege was supplied by a Catholic father-of-two who needed the money to help with a mortgage repayment, a Victorian court has heard.
George Matte-Hado faced the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Monday charged with selling the gun that terrorist Yacqub Khayre used to kill one man and injure three officers on June 5.
Police say Matte-Hado sold the “sawed-off, over-under” for $2000, handing it over to a middleman in a car park at Greenvale Gardens housing estate in Melbourne’s north.
“The shotgun was wrapped in mechanics’ rags,” Australian Federal Police agent Sherief Maksoud told the court.
Matte-Hado, 36, used about $800 of the proceeds to pay his mortgage, while $300 went to buying “speed” and the rest was spent on bills.
After the Brighton siege, the Greenvale man searched the internet for “weapon used in Melbourne terrorism incident”, the court heard.
“He realised the shotgun used in the incident was the one he sold,” Mr Maksoud said.
Defence lawyer Joseph Burk said Matte-Hado’s parents were Iraqi Christians who suffered persecution and came to Australia in 1992 to make a better life for their children.
“He’s essentially the last sort of person who would be involved in terrorism,” Mr Burk said of Matte-Hado.
“There is a great deal of remorse here. He has not tried to hide anything.”
Matte-Hado’s sister spoke at the bail hearing, saying her older brother had a “beautiful relationship” with his wife and two daughters, and they regularly attended a Catholic church.
“He’s a very good father. He has a very solid work history,” she said.
Matte-Hado was denied bail.
He is facing several firearms charges, including two counts of unlicensed dealing of firearms. It’s alleged he also dealt an air rifle.
He was arrested on June 16 as counter-terror police raided several homes in Melbourne’s north as part of the investigation into the Brighton siege.
Three other men have also been charged with supplying weapons to Khayre.
Khayre shot dead 36-year-old apartment clerk Kai “Nick” Hao and took an escort hostage, telling a TV station he was doing it for Islamic State and al-Qaeda.
Khayre had two shotguns with him during the siege but used the one Matte-Hado sold to kill Mr Hao and injure three Special Operations Group officers.
The Somali-born gunman died in a hail of police bullets at Buckingham Serviced Apartments.