Two rifles wrapped in plastic and left on the back seat of an unlocked car led to a hefty jail sentence for one Orange man on Friday.
Adam Troy Miller, 36, of Lucas Street, was sentenced in Orange District Court by Judge Graham Turnbull.
His offences included weapons and ammunition possession, dealing with the proceeds of crime, drug possession and supply, animal cruelty and the intimidation of an RSPCA officer.
"This is the strictest sentence you have faced but you have brought it on yourself," Judge Turnbull said when he sentenced Miller to five years and three months' jail.
"He did present as someone who did not take responsibility at all, he's still in the grip of addiction."
Judge Turnbull said Miller has continued to inject drugs while he's been in custody.
"He doesn't have insight to offending behaviour and portrays himself as a victim," Judge Turnbull said.
"He seems to have a limited moral compass, there's a lack of empathy here."
Miller was not at home when police found the stolen rifles, as well as a sawn-off shotgun that was in plain sight on a bedroom floor on October 29, 2019.
In relation to the sawn-off double barrel-shotgun, there's no legitimate purpose for a sawn-off shotgun to be possessed.Judge Graham Turnbull
A police search warrant found ammunition, $2500 in cash that was in a hidden compartment, and 16.29 grams of methamphetamine and smoking in the house on April 29, 2019.
In a woodpile in the backyard were two air-rifles wrapped in plastic and ammunition covered in plastic, as well as an ammunition belt and a box containing 301 rounds of 12-gauge ammunition.
The guns and ammunition were stolen from a property at Hill End, and Miller said he intended to bury them.
There was also an axe belonging to Freemantle Rural Fire Service and several other items that were stolen from Ophir and Clifton Grove RFS brigades and the Essential Energy Depot at Blayney.
The stolen items included trail cameras, a fridge, TV, and a first aid kit, which were labelled.
Miller was not charged with theft but he was charged with possession of the guns and dealing with the proceeds of crime.
While police were at the property they also found an elderly cattle dog cross greyhound that was underweight.
Police took the dog to the vet where it was discovered to have a chronic skin condition with fur falling out, ear infections in both ears and chronic airway problems that it was estimated to have had for three to four weeks.
The dog was euthanased due to its condition.
Before he was informed the dog was put down, Miller threatened an RSPCA inspector from jail and said, "give me back my f***ing dog. If you have killed him you're f***ing dead."
He doesn't have insight to offending behaviour and portrays himself as a victim.Judge Graham Turnbull
He also messaged an acquaintance after learning of the dog's death and stated: "I'm going to get a big knife and I'm going to find the birch [sic] that I spoke too [sic] on the phone and I'm gonna stab her at least 17 times, one for each year of his life".
Judge Turnbull said past records had shown that Miller had previously sought vet care for the dog and at the time the threat was made he was distressed about his dog and there was no indication the RSPCA officer saw the written message.
However, he said Miller had previously been charged with cruelty to an animal and he said its would have been a "frightening conversation" for the RSPCA inspector when the threat was delivered from jail.
"That may have enhanced the intimidation," Judge Turnbull said.
When Miller was arrested he was on parole for punching a woman in the face when she was sitting in her car, with a young child in the back seat.
He also had 8.7 grams of methamphetamine with him when police arrested him at a motel, several hours after his house was searched on October 29, 2019.
Miller has been in custody since then and Judge Turnbull gave him a back-dated three-year and three-month non-parole period.
Miller could be released on parole, if he is eligible, on January 28, 2023. His total sentence ends on January 28, 2025.
"In relation to the sawn-off double barrel-shotgun, there's no legitimate purpose for a sawn-off shotgun to be possessed," Judge Turnbull said.
"He's done a lot of jail, it's clear his offending has escalated in recent years."
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