Suspended jail sentence for man caught with knuckle dusters and firearm

A MAN caught with a shortened firearm and knuckle dusters in his car has received a suspended jail sentence.

Daniel Shane Budge, 23, of Rivett Place in Kelso, appeared before magistrate Michael Allen in Bathurst Local Court.

Budge came to the attention of police on the Great Western Highway because his car slowed to 70 kilometres an hour each time he entered an overtaking lane.

Police stopped the vehicle near Napoleon Reef Road at Walang and Budge produced a negative result to a random breath test, but appeared extremely nervous.

Police noticed two pit bulls in the rear of the car and a neck collar to protect the dogs from pig tusks while hunting.

They asked Budge what he had been doing and he said he had been camping at Sunny Corner.

They told Budge they would search the vehicle and Budge warned the police about the dogs, saying they might bite. He also refused to move the dogs from the car.

A second highway patrol car was called and Budge was told if the dogs weren’t removed from the car, police would remove them.

When Budge finally took the dogs out, police said to him: “Mate, what’s in the car?”

He admitted to police there was a firearm under the seat and they located a .22 magnum bolt action rifle with a serial number indicating it was stolen from a break and enter. The bolt was down and safety catch off. Police pulled back the bolt and discovered a live round in the chamber ready to fire. Another eight live rounds of ammunition was in a magazine fitted to the rifle.

Police located a box containing 46 Winchester .22 magnum round, and a metal pair of knuckle dusters, which are a prohibited weapon.

For the possession of a prohibited weapon, Budge was jailed for eight months, wholly suspended under Section 12.

For possession of a shortened firearm without authority, the .22 magnum calibre firearm, he was jailed for 15 months, wholly suspended under Section 12.

He was also ordered to undertake 100 hours of community service for not keeping a firearm safely.