Missing rifles cause concern

A ROCKHAMPTON Magistrate yesterday expressed concern about where two rifles that were never recovered after being stolen by a drug addict might end up.

Magistrate Tom Bradshaw sentenced a 21-year-old man to three months imprisonment with immediate parole and 12 months probation for seven charges including stealing firearms from a Rockhampton property. The man, who cannot be named, pleaded guilty to all charges in Rockhampton Magistrates Court yesterday.

Police prosecutor Karen Dunham told the court the man and a co-accused had entered a house in Elphinstone St through an unlocked door and then broken open a gun safe.

The pair made off with two rifles and a box of ammunition.

Both men were later found and charged and, while some of the ammunition was found at an associate's house, the guns were never recovered.

The man also faced several drug charges after a number of searches of his home revealed various drug paraphernalia, a small quantity of cannabis and a couch cushion that had been stuffed with used syringes.

Duty solicitor Lance Rundle said the man had only been educated to a Year 7 level and had been in and out of foster homes since he was two years old.

Mr Rundle said the man had been placed with a foster carer with whom he didn't get on when he was about 12 years old.

As a result the defendant had basically been living with friends since that time.

The magistrate said he recognised the man's need for rehabilitation and sentenced him to 12 months probation for the drug charges.

“If you don't get this help now you're going to spend a lot of time in jail,” Mr Bradshaw told him.

The man said that he intended to fully comply with the order and wanted to be rehabilitated.

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