Dad caught with sawn-off gun duct taped to homemade silencer

Daniel James Mason, 34.
Daniel James Mason, 34. Facebook

A MAN caught with a sawn off rifle attached to a homemade silencer has had his court matter stood down until Wednesday, after a Bundaberg magistrate remained undecided on whether or not he should be locked up for his crimes.

Daniel James Mason, 34, pleaded guilty to 10 charges in the Bundaberg Magistrates Court yesterday.

Among the offences were three counts of drug possession, two counts of unlawful possession of a weapon and disqualified driving.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Tina Bland said in the early hours of October 6, police were doing patrols when they came across Mason driving a white Toyota.

She said before the car pulled over, officers saw the driver (Mason), hurriedly switch seats with the only other passenger.

As a result the car swerved, hitting a gutter before coming to a stand-still.

Once police had approached, a strong smell of burnt marijuana wafted out of the car.

A search followed, uncovering a .22 rifle on the floor behind the driver's seat with a sawn off barrel and a homemade silencer attached to it with duct tape.

Apart from telling officers it wasn't loaded, Mason refused to answer any other questions about the firearm.

The same was the case for .1g of methamphetamine, 1g of marijuana, a pipe and a pair of scissors - all of which were also found in the car.

Mason also denied he'd been the one driving the car, which, the court heard, was illegal for him to do as his licence had been disqualified months beforehand.

In court yesterday defence lawyer Rian Dwyer said his client had the gun that was found in Mason's car earlier in the day for the purpose of committing suicide.

He added Mason had been struggling with depression, was a father of two and had been married to his wife, who was in court supporting him yesterday, for 11 years.

About 12 hours after police pulled Mason over, at 1.30pm a search warrant was executed at Mason's Kepnock home.

There officers found a glass vile containing methyltriphetamine, which is a schedule 2 drug and hallucinogenic, and another dangerous, white powdery drug in his bedroom.

A used meth pipe and four rounds of .22 calibre ammunition were also seized.

In a letter handed up to the bar table during Monday's court proceedings, a statement handwritten by Mason claimed he'd had the drugs and gun in his car on the morning of the police stop so he could dump them.

But Sen Const Bland questioned the statement, arguing the additional drugs and ammo found at Mason's home 12 hours after the roadside search should have been in the car, not at the house, if all the man's illegal items were in fact being dumped that day like he'd said.

Mr Dwyer objected, however, and said prosecution's argument was mere speculation and was not be supported by any evidence before the court.

He told Magistrate Neil Lavaring it was still in his power, if he saw fit, to sentence Mason to probation rather than a jail term.

The matter was stood down, to be resumed on Wednesday, after Sen Const Bland stressed prosecution's stance was that imprisonment was the appropriate penalty, given Mason had been on parole at the time of the offending and some similar matters in his criminal history.

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