Jail time for gun bust on Charlton Esplanade
A 22-YEAR-OLD man will spend another six months behind bars for carrying a sawn-off shotgun and shells along Hervey Bay's Charlton Esplanade.
Craig John Matheson pleaded guilty in Hervey Bay Magistrates Court on Monday to 13 charges, including possessing shortened firearms and explosives (the shotgun cartridges).
Police prosecutor Sergeant Wayne Bushell said Matheson was caught with the unlicensed gun and shells as he was walking along the busy footpath on October 15 last year.
He said police saw Matheson drop a backpack and three shotgun cartridges over a fence on Charlton Esplanade shortly before they spoke to him.
Sgt Bushell said the thought of a person walking down a street "in a busy holiday area" with a sawn-off shotgun was "astounding".
"The community expects these offences to be dealt with seriously," Sgt Bushell said.
Defence lawyer Justin Geldard blamed his client's behaviour on a long-term drug dependency.
"My client is one of the few who has not transitioned from childhood offending," Mr Geldard said.
"No doubt the catalyst has been drug dependency."
Magistrate Graeme Tatnell sentenced the Murarrie man to 19 months jail.
Matheson will be eligible for parole on October 19 this year, after already spending six months in jail after his arrest.
"Shortened firearms have no place in the community," Mr Tatnell said.