Court orders probation for man who accepted stolen rifles
A 25-YEAR-OLD man who moved to Gladstone to escape his association with some "bad people" received 12 months probation yesterday for offences he committed while living in north Queensland, closing a chapter in his life he would rather move on from.
He appeared at Gladstone Magistrates Court yesterday charged with receiving tainted property, possessing two category A rifles and possessing dangerous drugs.
The court was told that on January 14 last year, two people not including the defendant broke into a Silkwood residence, part of the same complex as the local police station.
The two people forced open a laundry cupboard and stole a key to a gun safe in the garage, stealing five firearms and taking them to another house.
That's where the defendant was given the two category A rifles, which he later told police he was planning on splitting up, giving one to his father and selling the other.
After the mother of one of his co-offenders "lost her cool and told everyone to leave", he wrapped the rifles in towels and stashed them in bushland at a nearby creek, before taking them to another house the following day and hiding them behind a fridge.
He was arrested by Cairns police on January 20 at the local Centrelink office.
After being taken into custody, the man was being transferred from his cell to another room when a small bag of cannabis fell our of his pants, which he told police he had simply forgotten about.
Appearing for the defence, barrister Matt Heelan said his client had fully cooperated with police in helping to "get these guns out of the community".
Mr Heelan said his client was suffering from a number of mental health conditions at the time of offending and had been addicted to drugs in the past, though he was currently doing well after moving to Gladstone to look for work.
Magistrate Melanie Ho sentenced him to 12 months probation, including counselling, with a conviction recorded.