Man’s six-month jail term for firearm offences stands

A man who appealed the severity of his six-month jail sentence and $1000 fine after pleading guilty to a number of firearm offences in Nowra has withdrawn his appeal.

Geoffrey Albert Abel, 27, pleaded guilty to possessing a shortened firearm, possessing an unauthorised prohibited firearm and possessing ammunition without licence in Nowra Local Court on November 17, with Magistrate Gabriel Fleming sentencing him to six months’ jail and fining him $1000 for possessing the ammunition.

The court heard the gun was found around 6pm on November 16 in a Holden Commodore police stopped on Quickmatch Street, Nowra East, due to the way it was being driven.

Abel, who court papers said was on parole at the time, was a front seat passenger in the vehicle.

While searching the car police found a shortened Sportco .22 calibre rifle and more than 70 bullets and an empty magazine in a bag in the rear of the car.

During questioning Abel and the driver of the car, a 19-year-old man who was not charged by police and released, said they had given another man a lift to Sanctuary Point and the bag had allegedly been his and he must have left it in the car.

Abel admitted to having touched and held the gun, even pulling the trigger, although it wasn’t loaded at the time.

Court papers said the rifle barrel had been shortened and the stock either shortened or removed.

He allegedly told police “he wasn’t saying he hadn’t held the gun or fired the trigger, and even though it would have his DNA on it, it didn’t mean he owned it.”

In Nowra District Court on Friday Abel withdrew his appeal and the original sentence will stand.