US citizen who allegedly smuggled in $2k gold gun into Sydney airport now homeless, court told

An American citizen arrested after allegedly attempting to smuggle a 24-karat gold gun worth more than $2000 into Sydney airport is now homeless while waiting in Australia to fight the charges, a court has been told.

Liliana Goodson was arrested at Sydney’s busy international airport in April 2023 after Australian Border Force allegedly uncovered the gold-plated Colt 45-style pistol as it passed through the X-ray machine.

Ms Goodson had flown from Los Angeles when the ABF allegedly uncovered the weapon – which was not loaded – in her luggage, but told a court she is now sleeping rough while awaiting her court hearing.

Appearing before the Downing Centre Local Court on Tuesday, Ms Goodson applied for her bail conditions, which include daily reporting to Sydney police, to be varied so that she could “get more sleep”.

“I am currently homeless and have been since June. I’ve been through a lot of stress living on the streets. I wanted to camp in the Southern Highlands or somewhere along the Kiama train line,” she said.

“While I do get access to homelessness services, I don’t get the required rest … Especially because a lot of us have to wake up at certain times to leave the public buildings where we reside at night.

“When I sleep on the train, sometimes when they stop its at 5am or 6am in the morning at Martin Place and then I just have to get up and go. I don’t want to be in the area because of fear and paranoia.”

Ms Goodson told Magistrate Susan Horan she wanted to reduce her reporting and to change the reporting station after she claimed she was allegedly twice assaulted and was worried for her safety.

Ms Horan agreed with prosecutor Mayuri Santhakumar and did not oppose the station change but said reduced reporting was not acceptable given Ms Goodson was not required to be at a single abode.

Ms Goodson pleaded not guilty to two counts of intentionally importing prohibited goods after Australian Border Force alleged she did not have a permit to neither import nor carry the gold pistol.

The colourfully-dressed 29-year-old fronted court on Tuesday swaddling a plush toy from the Disney movie Lilo and Stitch as well as a guitar, and will return to court for a two-day hearing in August.

The court was told that if found guilty and convicted, Ms Goodson faces up to two years imprisonment and a fine of $33,000. She also previously provided the court a surety of $10,000 for release.

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