‘I’m no terrorist, just really stupid’, says grenade buyer
A man who kept a potentially lethal homemade grenade in his backpack has told a judge he is "not a terrorist" - insisting he is just "really, really stupid".
On Friday, Konrad John Kosznik stepped into the District Court's witness box to try and escape a looming prison term for carrying explosives in public.
He told Judge Michael Boylan he bought the device not for a nefarious purpose, but out of nostalgia for his childhood in Poland.
"In Poland, fireworks are legal … I could buy them as a 10 or 12-year-old, we had them at my wedding … I wanted to feel like a kid again," he said.
"I don't make bombs, I'm not a terrorist … I've never harmed anybody in my life, I don't have any enemies.
"I feel really, really embarrassed and stupid - really, really stupid."
Kosznik, 36, pleaded guilty to one count of possessing an explosive device in public without lawful excuse.
In June 2019, police found the explosive in his backpack - Kosznik claimed it was a "firecracker" he had purchased from a Gumtree seller for $50.
Subsequent analysis revealed the device was more like an improvised hand grenade and contained rock, gravel and 146 nails.
Kosznik's counsel urged the court to show mercy, saying he would only have set off the device in an empty paddock "just to see how big the bang was".
Judge Boylan, however, deemed that "implausible" and rejected Kosznik's claims as "inconsistent".
Giving evidence on Friday, Kosznik said his original Gumtree purchase was two Nike jumpers, and that the seller's friend offered him the "firecracker".
He said he put it in his backpack, alongside the tools he used to maintain his bicycle, and forgot about it "for approximately four to six months".
"I know it was wrong and that I did wrong, fireworks are illegal and I was not supposed to do something like that," he said.
"Trust me, I have learned my lesson … I will never do something like that ever again."
Alex Panousakis, for Kosznik, asked the court consider sentencing his client to home detention rather than a prison term.
"When spoken to by police he was relaxed, nonplussed, bordering on naive," he said.
"He didn't have the demeanour of someone who knows the police are about to find something that's going to put him in serious trouble."
Judge Boylan remanded Kosznik on continuing bail for sentencing next week.
Originally published as 'I'm no terrorist, just really stupid', says grenade buyer