Charged for hunting trip on couch

A RABBIT hunting trip with six mates early on the morning of October 3 ended badly for a 21-year-old who was forced to take the journey on a couch strapped to the tray of a ute.

Shaun David Poots appeared in Rockhampton Magistrates Court on three charges yesterday after police cut their hunting joy-ride short.

Police prosecutor Acting Sergeant Shaun Janes told the court a neighbour at the Alton Downs property reported hearing five to six shots fired close to his horses, cattle and home about 1am.

Police intercepted a Toyota Hilux with five people inside at 2am when Poots was sitting on a couch strapped to the middle of the ute tray.

Acting Sgt Janes said the couch was "not designed for passengers".

Poots was unsteady on his feet and when asked to sit on the ground, pushed past police, refused to calm down and fell to the ground.

Police searched the vehicle and found a .22 calibre rifle on the passenger seat for which Poots did not hold a licence.

Defence lawyer William Prizeman told the court Poots filled out an online form and thought he was licensed to fire the rifle.

"He had taken steps towards becoming licensed but was under the mistaken belief he had the ability to possess the rifle," Mr Prizeman said.

"When he obstructed police, he was attempting to find somewhere to sit down that wasn't damp from the morning dew."

Poots pleaded guilty to one count each of travelling in a part of a vehicle not intended for passengers, possessing a weapon and obstructing police in the performance of their duties.

Magistrate Cameron Press did not record a conviction.

"This was immature and potentially dangerous conduct," Mr Press said.

"Frankly sir, you should have known better."

Poots was fined a total of $1119 for the three offences.



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