Nine years’ jail for tinny house shooting

A robbery of a cannabis tinny house where a man was accidentally shot in the neck has led to a sentence of more than nine years in prison.

Rory Manuel, 34, and a co-offender went to the house on December 29, 2016, and forced their way in.

They told the occupants, who had dealt in cannabis from the house that evening, that they wanted “money, drugs, and valuables”.

They told a woman at the address to stay in the kitchen and placed a blanket over her head. Two men at the address were told to sit in the lounge.

The offenders ransacked the bedroom, and Manuel’s fingerprint was later found there by police.

When the offenders went back in the lounge, they lifted the couch and a loaded firearm accidentally went off, hitting one of the occupants in the neck.

In the Christchurch District Court yesterday Judge Jane Farish said she was sentencing Manuel on a charge of aggravated robbery after the jury at his trial found him guilty.

She said the victim had significant injuries, lost a lot of blood, and was lucky to survive the wound.

The invasion was premeditated and the two men were armed. It was a home invasion with forced entry, and then an accidental shooting, she said.

“What happened in the house was unintended, but there was always the risk the loaded firearm would go off accidentally, rather than intentionally.”

The victims all declined to give a victim impact report to the court, she said.

Judge Farish said Manuel had a significant history with stints of prison for methamphetamine offending.

She found Manuel pleasant, respectful in the court, and he had a partner and a young child.

He was sentenced to nine years four months’ jail, but Judge Farish did not impose a minimum period of imprisonment.

 

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