Community work term for paintball shooter

Car-red-rearA golf coach at Clearwater who was on the receiving end of a paintball barrage will get a letter of apology from the shooter.

The “gunman”, Luke Issac McDonald, a 21-year-old painter from Avonside, has been ordered to do 100 hours of community work after admitting a charge a firing an airgun with reckless disregard for the safety of others.

He pleaded guilty before Judge Stephen O’Driscoll in the Christchurch District Court today.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Anna Lloyd said McDonald was a passenger in a Nissan Bluebird about 1.30pm on a Saturday afternoon in January.

The driver had brought along his paintball airgun which was loaded with pellets.

They drove to the Clearwater Resort, near Belfast, with McDonald in the back seat behind the driver.

The victim was in a practice area coaching a member of the public when McDonald fired the gun towards him continuously for about five seconds, at a range of 50m.

“The victim was unsure what was happening and attempted to avoid the paintball capsules as they landed near him,” said Sergeant Lloyd.

The car drove off, leaving the golf coach shaken but uninjured.

Judge O’Driscoll was told that McDonald had written a letter of apology saying the man had been the victim of his stupidity and recklessness and he was sorry for any harm he had caused.

“The victim says he received a fright and he believes he was lucky he wasn’t hit in the eye or there could have been some damage caused,” said the judge.

He noted that McDonald had only previously appeared on driving charges and had been fined or sentenced to community detention. He imposed the sentence of 100 hours of community work and ordered the destruction of the paintball gun.

He advised McDonald: “Think about the consequences of your actions and the impact they might have on others.”

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