Nulsen man, Clinton George Steel, jailed over firearm charges

A 37-year-old Nulsen man has been jailed for one year and 10 months for receiving and possessing stolen firearms and ammunition.

A jury found Clinton George Steel guilty of three charges in Kalgoorlie District Court on August 22, 2019. He was sentenced by Judge John Prior in the District Court in Perth on September 5.

Steel accepted at least five firearms and about 600 rounds of assorted ammunition, although he knew they were stolen. He did not have a licence or permit.

During sentencing, Judge Prior said at about 1am on August 29, 2016, there was a burglary at a Grass Patch property.

The property was owned by a family that held licences for firearms that were stored at their farmhouse.

The offenders stole several firearms, more than 600 rounds of assorted ammunition, two Samurai swords, two bayonets, two machetes, a dagger and $2,000 in Australian cash.

After leaving the farmhouse about 3am, the burglars drove to a Gibson property.

They placed the stolen items in a shed because they were worried about being stopped by police, going back into Esperance in the early hours of the morning.

Later that morning, Steel became aware that of two of his associates, Esperance man Luke Peter George Wylde and Nulsen man Timothy Gregory Mathew Galvin, had committed the burglary and had stolen the firearms.

In the evening, Steel accompanied Wylde to the Gibson Football Oval.

The two met up with Galvin, who had already picked up the stolen property.

At the oval, the offenders placed at least five of the stolen firearms, along with assorted rounds of ammunition, into Steel's vehicle.

Wylde would later receive a three-year jail sentence for two counts of aggravated burglary and stealing, while Galvin was sentenced to two years and nine months for aggravated burglary and stealing.

Days after receiving the stolen property, Steel placed at least three of the rifles into a large metal box, which he later buried at a disused business premises in Pink Lake.

At 12.45 pm on September 5, 2016, Esperance police and detectives went to Steel's house to recover stolen property from an unrelated incident.

Steel was not present, but while searching his car, detectives found two firearms and a number of bags containing assorted ammunition.

On May 2017, the offender was arrested on suspicion of this and other matters.

Judge Prior said Steel made some admissions and told some lies in his interview at the police station.

The judge said Steel had been in a relationship for seven years and his partner considered him to be a good father.

However, Judge Prior said the offender had an extensive criminal record which included traffic, drug, burglary, property damage and assault offences.

Steel had served time in jail and was still subject to a suspended imprisonment order in August 2016.

Judge Prior accepted the offender provided information to police which resulted in some stolen firearms being recovered and provided information as to who committed the burglary of the farmhouse, including the names of Mr Wylde and possibly Mr Galvin.

Steel's sentence was backdated to February 21, 2019, when he was first remanded in custody.

He will be eligible for parole after serving half of his sentence or 11 months in jail.