Pregnant mother of five jailed for possession of firearm

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Mereana Allison Duncan was sentenced to four-and-a-half months' imprisonment when she appeared in the New Plymouth District Court on Wednesday for illegally possessing a firearm. (file photo)

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Mereana Allison Duncan was sentenced to four-and-a-half months’ imprisonment when she appeared in the New Plymouth District Court on Wednesday for illegally possessing a firearm. (file photo)

A mother of five who is pregnant with her sixth child has been sentenced to imprisonment for the unlawful possession of a firearm.

Mereana Allison Duncan appeared before Judge Chris Sygrove in the New Plymouth District Court on Wednesday for sentencing on charges of unlawful possession of a firearm and breaching release conditions.

The police summary of facts states Duncan was a passenger in a car stopped by officers in Ngāruawāhia about 5.15am on September 27.

Drug paraphernalia was sighted by police on the driver of the vehicle and officers invoked a warrantless search under the Search and Surveillance Act.

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Duncan provided a false name but when her true identity was discovered by police she was found to have an active warrant to arrest.

Officers also discovered a sawn-off .22 calibre firearm, wrapped in a blue gang shirt, in the rear passenger foot well of the car.

Duncan, who was also found in possession of a glass methamphetamine pipe and a flick knife, declined to comment but admitted the gun was hers.

Defence lawyer Samantha Hunt, appearing for Nina Laird, sought an end sentence of five months’ imprisonment on the firearm charge.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Lewis Sutton believed a sentence in the range of five months or higher was warranted.

Sutton said one of Duncan’s co-offenders received a sentence of one year and three months while the second was awaiting a trial by jury.

Sygrove told the 34-year-old the maximum sentence for the firearm charge was four years’ imprisonment.

He noted Duncan, who he acknowledged was pregnant, and her associates had been smoking cannabis, methamphetamine and drinking alcohol prior to being stopped by police.

“I hope that you have given that up, given your current situation.”

Sygrove imposed a sentence of four and a half months’ imprisonment on the firearm charge and to come up if called upon within 12 months for breaching her release conditions.



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