National

Jury hears of John Ibrahim’s relationship

By AAP Newswire

The model dating former Kings Cross nightclub owner John Ibrahim for the past six years has detailed to a Sydney jury the ups and downs of the relationship in the days before she was arrested for possessing a pistol.

Sarah Budge, 29, has pleaded not guilty to three weapons possession charges, arguing she had no idea a defaced Glock 26 pistol and loaded magazine was hidden a teapot box in her bedroom wardrobe.

The weapons were uncovered by federal police in August 2017 when they raided a series of properties, including that of Budge's Double Bay unit and Mr Ibrahim's Dover Heights clifftop home.

Budge, a model and restaurateur, told her District Court trial on Monday she was annoyed and felt ignored by her 51-year-old boyfriend in early August 2017, weeks after his memoir, Last King of the Cross, was published and during a up-and-down time in their relationship.

The jury was told that during a July 26 radio interview to promote the book, Mr Ibrahim claimed he was single, prompting Budge to text him, "Mum's listening, thanks so much", leading him to reply, "What".

"All this stuff keeps happening," she messaged during another argument about John inviting an ex-girlfriend into his home on August 1.

Two days before the August 8 search of her unit, Budge messaged: "Have a fab night, thanks for ditching me, and not even answering to speak with me."

In some messages, Mr Ibrahim responded with just one word: busy.

"It was up and down. We were fighting at the time," Budge told the jury.

She also spoke of her boyfriend's charisma, humour and desire for privacy, adding he called himself "Sexy John".

Asked about his business, Budge said Mr Ibrahim moved away from nightclubs about the time they met in 2013 and focused on his property portfolio.

She said he liked his space and she moved to other tables or rooms whenever he held business meetings at cafes or his home.

"I'm never present," she said.

Budge acknowledged he had a "colourful identity" and that two of his siblings had been convicted of gun crimes, but said she had never seen anything that indicated Mr Ibrahim was involved in crime.

The only two times she had seen him handling a gun was at shooting ranges during overseas holidays, she said.

"I helped him with his book and he made it clear in that he was anti-gun in his venues," Budge said.

She said she played a key role in the book's development, transcribing and editing notes over eight months on a laptop Mr Ibrahim bought specifically for his memoir.

The laptop, which contained unedited manuscripts, was a key reason for police searching her unit, the jury has heard.

But Budge said she hadn't brought it to the apartment.

"I noticed it on my bed (one day) so I thought John must have dropped it off," she said.

Budge spent the night at Mr Ibrahim's home on August 7, waking to police at the door and information that other officers were at her unit waiting to search.

The jury has previously heard seven of Budge's fingerprints and a fingerprint of former strip club manager Michael Amante were found on the chemist's paper bag containing the magazine.

The trial resumes on Tuesday.