Offender’s ‘wake-up call’ was getting shot by police

August 10, 2017 | By More

Murray James Allan realised he was lucky to be standing in the dock to be sentenced, after pulling an imitation pistol on the police and being shot in the face.

The realisation took a while, but his sister noticed it during her regular visits to him while he was in prison on remand.

She will provide a supportive family environment for the 24-year-old when he is released from prison in about two months.

While he lives there, he will have special conditions to treat the methamphetamine addiction that nearly got him killed.

“It’s not a game,” Judge Bridget Mackintosh said at Allan’s Christchurch District Court sentencing, as she jailed him for 18 months. He has already served the equivalent of a 14-month term.

Defence counsel Serina Bailey told the court: “He now realises he is fortunate to be in court for sentencing. The possibility of his death as a result of the shooting has impacted significantly on him.

“He realises fully that it could have been a fatal shooting and nothing has woken him up as much as that night.”

The shooting had been the reality check that he needed and he was now keen to undergo rehabilitation though there would not be enough time for a course during the rest of his jail term, she said.

Judge Mackintosh said: “I think this has been a real wake-up call for you. Your life was under threat. I think you have had some valuable time now to reflect on that and to realise what could potentially have happened to you if you kept moving in these murky circles.”

Allan, who now has post-traumatic stress disorder himself, wanted to meet the three police involved to apologise to them, but that may not happen.

Judge Macintosh noted that at least one of the police had believed it was a “life or death situation” that night, and they had worried about the consequences for their families.

“Police officers sign up for duty, but they don’t sign up to be shot,” said the judge.

She jailed Allan for 18 months with special release conditions to attend alcohol and drug treatment as required, undergo psychological assessment, and any treatment, counselling or programmes as required. She ordered him to pay back $2800 reparations for cheque fraud charges.

Allan had admitted charges of assault with a weapon, unlawful possession of an imitation firearm and ammunition, and three charges of dishonestly using stolen cheques.

The incident occurred when two police officers were patrolling in Woolston about 2am on February 4, looking for a suicidal man. They spoke to two men they saw in a parked car.

One of the officers believed he saw a cannabis pipe in the car and told the men the car would be searched. He also requested backup because he recognised Allan.

Police intelligence had previously advised that Allan was believed to have a firearm.

The officers told the men to keep their hands up, and in sight.

A third officer then arrived and parked his patrol car in front of the vehicle.

They then saw Allan reach into a backpack in the car’s footwell and remove a pistol.

“He directed the pistol in the direction of one of the constables,” said the police.

The third constable to arrive immediately fired and hit Allan on the right side of his face.

Once he was no longer seen as a threat, the police provided first aid and called for an ambulance which transported him to Christchurch Hospital.

When the car was examined late that day, a blank firing pistol was found on the passenger side of the dashboard. It contained two rounds in the magazine – one a blank round, but the other a 9mm live round capable of being fired.

None of the police were injured.

When he was interviewed, Allan told police: “I’m a f—-n idiot aren’t I? I pulled a gun on the cops. I tried to gap it so I pulled a gun on the cops.”

“Gap it” means to run from the scene of a crime.

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Category: Focus

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