A MAN has been jailed for five years for a raft of rural crime offences in what is believed to be one of the biggest sentences handed down for the crimes.
Todd Nelson Foran is behind bars but will argue the sentence he's been handed is too severe after a rural crime operation last year.
The 39-year-old from Warren was arrested in late-November after the sting in the Central West.
The operation - code named Operation Highground - involved rural crime officers from Moree, Walgett and Bourke, and was backed by general police.
It targeted illegal hunting, trespassing and other rural crime offences between November 26 and 29.
Foran was facing a string of hunting, trespassing and driving offences and appeared in Walgett Local Court for sentencing after pleading guilty to nine charges.
Magistrate Fiona Toose considered the case, and after reading the facts, imposed an aggregate sentence of 60 months - or five years - which is the maximum penalty that can be imposed in the local court.
Ms Toose made an aggregate sentence, ordering Foran to spend at least 45 months behind bars.
After time served, he will be eligible for parole in January 2024.
Foran was convicted of driving while disqualified; two charges of entering private land to hunt an animal without consent; two counts of entering inclosed agricultural land accompanied by hunting dog; destroying or damaging property; owner not disclose identity of driver or passenger; and driving while licence cancelled.
A conditional release order, or bond, that Foran was on since April 2019 was revoked, and he was re-sentenced. He was also convicted without further penalty for a charge of trespassing.
Charges of police pursuit; destroying property; unlawfully entering inclosed lands accompanied by a hunting dog; driving while licence cancelled; and driving while disqualified were withdrawn and dismissed in court.
Ms Toose disqualified Foran from holding a driver's licence for 12 months, but suspended the period while he in custody. The ban will come into effect once he is released on parole.
Immediately after the sentence was handed down, Foran lodged a severity appeal in the district court against the sentences.
It has been listed for hearing in November in the Coonamble District Court, but Foran has been refused bail in the interim.