Two of the firearms that were stolen from the New Italy property.
Two of the firearms that were stolen from the New Italy property. Marc Stapelberg

'I despair the future of the human race': Magistrate

A MAGISTRATE has said a Casino man who kept a photograph of himself with stolen firearms led him to "despair the future of the human race”.

One of Steele Harley Sells' two children gazed silently at his weeping mother as sentences were handed down for three sets of incidents before Lismore Local Court on Monday.

Sells, 29, had pleaded guilty to breaking into a New Italy home between April 26 and May 2 this year, stealing three guns, war medals, a host of collector items and other valuables.

He took some of the items to coin collector in Burleigh Waters, Queensland, on the afternoon of May 2.

He had also pleaded guilty to driving while disqualified, having custody of a knife in a public place, possessing a prohibited weapon and two counts of possessing unlawfully obtained goods from February 2 and two domestic violence-related offences from January 25.

Along with being caught on CCTV selling the stolen goods under his partner's name, Sells made the error of keeping a photo of himself, sporting a face mask and holding two of the stolen guns, on his mobile phone, the court heard.

Police found this photo after the Rural Crime Prevention Team attended his home on May 20 and Magistrate Roger Prowse highlighted this in his sentencing remarks.

"Sometimes I despair the future of the human race with that level of intelligence,” Mr Prowse said.

Sells' solicitor, Natasha Wood, conceded her client had a significant criminal record and had already been on three bonds.

"There is certainly an accepted need for rehabilitation in relation to his drug use and treatment in relation to his mental health,” Ms Wood said.

Ms Wood said her client was "remorseful” and "displayed a high level of insight into his offending behaviour”.

Mr Prowse found there was no appropriate penalty other than full time custody.

"Your history shows you're lying to yourself,” he told Sells.

"You can lie to yourself as much as you like but if you continue to lie to the people who you claim are important to you, well that's reprehensible really.

"It's easier not to commit an offence than to go through all the complexity you go through to commit offences.”

He sentenced Sells, who had been in custody since May 13, to three and a half years' prison with a 32-month non-parole period. 



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