Jail for receiving stolen firearms

ANNE CLARKSON
Last updated 10:52 26/11/2013

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A 20-year-old has been sentenced to a year in prison for unlawful possession of guns and ammunition.

Michael Paul Joseph Hasselberg-Williams was sentenced on four charges of receiving stolen property, six charges of possessing firearms, one of possessing ammunition and one of burglary.

Defence counsel Richard McGuire said Hasselberg-Williams had obtained the firearms through a contact on Facebook. He intended to use them for hunting.

The guns were found in his car when he had to leave the farm he had been working on.

While in town things unravelled, and without employment he turned to drink, he said.

Judge John Strettell said there had been a large number of firearms taken in various house burglaries in and around Christchurch, which ended up in the boot of Hasselberg-Williams' car.

He said he did not have a firearms licence and had no right to possess them.

While on bail for the firearms charges Hasselberg-Williams entered a property, damaged it, and searched cupboards and drawers. He was identified by his fingerprints.

Judge Strettell said the guilty pleas showed that Hasselberg-Williams knew he had not acquired the guns legally, or even innocently.

He noted that Hasselberg-Williams had 11 convictions in the district court and one term of prison, despite being just 20 years old.

Hasselberg-Williams' family had concerns about his abuse of alcohol, sense of entitlement and his associates, Judge Strettel said.

He said home detention was not appropriate and his probation report did not recommend a community-based sentence because of his previous list of breaches of community-based sentences and release conditions.

Hasselberg-Williams was sentenced to one year in prison, ordered to complete drug and alcohol programmes and must pay $300 reparation to the burglary victim.

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- The Press

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