A Prebbleton man may get a chance at a restorative justice meeting to apologise to the fellow hunter he accidentally shot in the leg during a hunting trip near Lake Coleridge.
The case was referred to restorative justice when Glen Royce Court, 40, pleaded guilty in the Christchurch District Court today to a charge of causing injury by carelessly using a rifle.
The incident took place on July 3, the last day of a weekend hunting trip to inland Canterbury by Court and two other men.
Police said the trio returned to a hut and decided to fire their weapons before returning. They stood in a triangular formation 2m apart, facing outwards.
When this was done, the victim moved to his left and Court turned to his right. As he turned, the .270 calibre Remington rifle discharged, hitting the other hunter in the calf.
The victim received a significant injury, the police said. He was hospitalised for a week and had surgery twice.
Court told police he had owned the rifle for eight or nine years and it had never accidentally discharged before. He could not explain why it had fired on this occasion, nor why it was pointing at his friend.
Judge Tom Gilbert said he did not know the range of penalties imposed in similar cases so he asked for submissions by the defence and the police ahead of the sentencing on December 21.
Court was remanded at large – no bail was required – after Judge Gilbert was told that the police had taken the firearm, and Court had voluntarily surrendered his firearms licence.
Judge Gilbert asked for a pre-sentence report to cover Court’s suitability for home or community detention and referred the case for a restorative justice meeting if the victim and the offender are willing.