Cut down bolt-action rifle was hidden from mum

A BOYNE Island man hid a cut-down bolt-action rifle beneath the spare tyre in his car boot because he did not want his mum to see it.

Despite the gun hidden away from his mum's eyes Gladstone detectives easily found the illegal weapon hidden in his car.

Jonathon Dwayne Steele, 36, was sentenced to six months jail after he pleaded guilty in Gladstone Magistrates Court to being in possession of a shortened firearm.

Prosecutor Sgt Barry Stevens said CIB officers searched Steele's bedroom at a residential unit complex on November 12 and found a key.

Steele told officers he did not know what the key accessed.

However, police checked the car park of the complex and found the key happened to fit a Toyota coupe.

Steele's helpful mum told officers the car was her son's.

Sgt Stevens said when officers removed a spare wheel from the wheel well (in the boot) they found an "extremely modified firearm with its barrel shortened dramatically".

The stock was also shortened and a butt on the rifle removed to make it into a pistol grip. The modifications reduced the firearm's length to 30cm. Steele said he had "no idea" how the gun got into his car but later admitted owning it, saying he kept it in his car because he did not want it in his mum's home.

Magistrate Penelope Hay sentenced Steele to six months jail but made him immediately eligible to apply for parole.

However, the process can take months.

Steele has previous criminal offences for stealing, burglary and drugs.


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