Year in jail for transporting weapons
Pair admitted to possessing loaded 12-gauge shotgun
A man caught illegally transporting weaponry around the North Island has been sentenced to a year in prison.
Michael John Le Page, 26, and his co-offender Morgan James Potter, 25, admitted possessing a loaded 12-gauge shotgun in Upper Hutt in March.
Le Page also plead guilty to possessing offensive weaponry after being caught with a samurai sword and knuckle dusters on the backseat of a car in Hastings about a fortnight earlier.
The men appeared separately for sentencing in the Hutt Valley District Court on May 20.
Judge John Macdonald said neither of the pair held a firearms licence, but were caught transporting a loaded shotgun about 2.30am on March 20.
The pair drove north along State Highway 2 toward Rimutaka Hill before turning on to Kaitoke Loop Rd and hiding the shotgun up a driveway.
They were then headed south toward Upper Hutt when police stopped their car.
A short time later, a dog hand- ler found the loaded shotgun using an article search.
The judge said that earlier that month, Le Page and two others were driving around the North Island.
On March 10, he stole $77 of petrol from a gas station in Petone before heading north to Hastings.
About 3pm the next day, an informant from Farmers Hastings reported two suspicious men in the store. One was carrying something on his hip that resembled a glock pistol.
The men left, and were stopped by police on Market St soon after. Le Page became aggressive and tried to get between the car and the officer searching the car. The officer found knuckle dusters and a samurai sword on the backseat.
In line with an earlier sentencing indication given by Judge Barbara Morris in April, Judge Macdonald sentenced Le Page to 12 months in prison after efforts for home detention proved fruitless.
Potter appeared for sentencing later that day after admitting unlawful possession of the loaded shotgun and carrying a knife.
His defence lawyer pushed for home detention on the basis that Potter had already served two months in custody and his mother was present supporting him in court. He also has a young child.
Potter had ‘‘reflected’’ on his offending and after having been before the courts ‘‘for some years’’, he did not wish to keep coming back.
Judge Macdonald sentenced Potter to five months’ home detention and ordered the weaponry be destroyed.