Shooting followed gang confrontation at house

A man who shotgunned a member of a rival gang that turned up at his Hornby home has been jailed for two years eight months.

Christchurch District Court Judge Jane Farish said she believed that Paul Leslie Stockford, 34, had “lost the focus on his family in recent times”.

As she jailed him, she told him he now had a chance to choose not to continue on this path but accept his obligations to his family and his children.

She ordered that a cultural report prepared for his sentencing should be sent to the Parole Board that would shortly consider his release after more than a year in custody on remand.

She believed the board would wish to see him complete a rehabilitation course or a Maori cultural programme before his release was granted.

Stockford acknowledged his family in the back of the court as he was led to the cells, after being jailed for firing a shotgun with reckless disregard for safety, two charges of driving while his licence was suspended, and an assault at a family gathering.

He was jailed and disqualified for a year.

Stockford wrote a letter of apology to the rival gang member he shot in the groin in an incident on March 30, 2017. Judge Farish said he fired the shot when a rival gang arrived at the home where his children were.

Defence counsel Anselm Williams told the court that Stockford was on the right track when he was engaged with his family. But when he was engaged with “other elements” he found himself in difficulty.

Stockford read his own statement to the court, apologising to the shooting victim and his family, to the community, and his own family.

He said: “I acknowledge that what I did was wrong and accept responsibility and the consequences. My intentions at the time weren’t to hurt anyone, but things escalated and got out of control.”

Judge Farish told him the shot he fired could have been fatal, and he could have been facing a life sentence.

Stockford’s father spoke at the sentencing session of the family being a staunch Maori family. He said that a village had been involved in Stockford’s upbringing, but that also meant he had been in contact with “the village idiots”. Stockford had gravitated to the negative element in society that he had an affinity with.

Even so, he was a man who worked hard and was good with his hands as a plasterer, and he did carving and drawing.

Judge Farish noted in the cultural report that after serving a jail term, Stockford had left the gang he was involved with. “But unfortunately, those associations do follow you,” she said.

When he pleaded guilty in December, the court was told that the shooting arose from a confrontation about recent burglaries which Stockford believed the shooting victim was responsible for.