Black market sale: Teen offloads stolen guns, walks free
ZACHARY Rose-Kello used a sledgehammer and grinder to break into a room where firearms were being stored.
He then broke his way into a safe and made off with 13 firearms and ammunition.
On Thursday, he walked from Bundaberg District Court on parole after narrowly avoiding jail time.
Of the three handguns, nine rifles and a shotgun that were stolen, two of the handguns have not been recovered.
Judge William Everson heard the handguns had been sold, determining it safe to believe they had been sold to criminal elements.
Judge Everson said the charges were serious enough as it was, but "the difference is, what he sold was used to shoot someone".
Defence barrister Callan Cassidy made attempts to improve the image of Rose-Kello by mentioning his work as a tree lopper, Year 12 completion, sporting achievements and family in the gallery, but was stopped by the judge.
"We all did a lot of sport at school, so what?" he said.
Judge Everson regarded Rose-Kello's admissions to police and the naming of a co-offender as significant mitigating factors in determining his sentence.
While he said the event clearly involved a degree of premeditation, it was very lucky Rose-Kello was "young and stupid" at the time of the offending as he had a chance to improve himself, adding if he were a few years older there wouldn't have been room for leniency.
Despite the seriousness of the offending, there was some debate over whether Rose-Kello would be required to serve time in jail.
Due to a lack of criminal history, Judge Everson sentenced Rose-Kello to concurrent prison sentences, the longest of which was three years, but granted him parole yesterday with a stern message to straighten out his life.
An audible sigh of relief was heard from the more than a dozen supporters in the gallery when it was determined he would not have to serve time.
"Get a job, settle down and be a law-abiding citizen," Judge Everson said.