Nulsen man avoids extra jail time for string of offences

A 37-year-old Nulsen man, currently serving a 22-month jail term, avoided extra time in prison when he was sentenced over five more charges.

Clinton George Steel appeared via video link in Esperance Court before Magistrate Brionie Ayling on September 10 after pleading guilty to possessing a rifle and ammunition without a licence and breaching bail.

Steel's offences also breached a suspended imprisonment order for stealing diesel and cigarettes from a petrol station and driving with a suspended licence.

Police prosecutor Snr Constable Carolyn Petersen told the court Steel was sleeping about midday on April 3, 2017 when he heard a male voice outside his home.

He picked up an unsafely stored rifle, which had been altered, and accidentally dropped the gun.

The firearm discharged and shot him in the calf.

Steel's friends helped him get to the hospital and police subsequently investigated the matter.

The offender's lawyer Ashley Watson claimed his client found the guns in a bag outside his home. Mr Watson said Steel believed they may have been stolen and intended to return them to the rightful owners.

Magistrate Ayling said if he believed the gun was stolen he should have handed the weapon in to the police.

The magistrate said Steel's claim he found the weapons in the bush "doesn't ring true" to her.

Magistrate Ayling sentenced Steel to a total of 13 months in jail.

However, the offender will not spend any extra time in jail, with the sentence to be served concurrently with his previous 22-month sentence. Both terms were backdated to February 21, 2019.

He was also ordered to pay more than $1000 in fines and court costs and was banned from driving for nine months.