Man who threatened family found with sawn-off rifle hidden in boot

By Trevor Quinn

A young Masterton man who was found to be in possession of a sawn-off rifle in Palmerston North, just weeks after a family dispute, was jailed for 10 months when he appeared in Masterton District Court yesterday.

Mainline Ford, 20, was involved in a dispute with his grandmother and other family members on September 4 when threats were made.

The police prosecutor, Sergeant Garry Wilson, said one of the threats issued by Ford during the row with his family was: "I'm going to blow your head off".

Two and a half weeks later when police searched his car in Palmerston North they found a sawn-off rifle wrapped in plastic under the spare wheel.

"Disturbingly a few weeks later you were found in the possession of a firearm," Judge Bruce Davidson said, "While there is no proof that there was any relation between the two incidents I suspect otherwise."

Ford's lawyer, Virginia Pearson, said the words used by Ford during the row with his family were not an accurate reflection of him.

She said Ford has said that he was assaulted by other family members and received so much bruising that he was forced to take antibiotics for a number of days.

Ms Pearson said both incidents were entirely unrelated and her client had never intended to use the gun.

Ford had been in custody since September 20 and Ms Pearson said that it appeared that he would be better off moving out of the district instead of remaining in Masterton.

Judge Davidson took Ford's early guilty plea into consideration and sentenced him to eight months' imprisonment for possession of a firearm and a further two months' imprisonment for a number of theft and false document offences.


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