'Over-excited' hunter sentenced for killing stags

Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

A Reefton man who shot two stags on a farm last year when he became "trigger-happy" was sentenced in Westport District Court yesterday to community detention.

Dane Luke Hardy-Dillon, 18, told Judge Jane Farish he had shot at a possum on a farm, startling stags who began running. He'd had a couple of beers and become trigger-happy and over-excited and shot at them.

He was sentenced yesterday for unlawful possession of a firearm, unlawfully being in a yard and theft of animals.

Responding to Judge Farish's questions, Hardy-Dillon said he'd never had a gun licence but a friend who was with him at the time did.

Judge Farish said it was a pity, considering Hardy-Dillon liked hunting, that it would now be hard for him to get a firearms licence. Hunting was a great sport on the West Coast and could keep people out of mischief.

He was doing well with his work on a dairy farm and showing maturity and she hoped, with the right sponsor, he'd be able to get a licence one day.

The owner of the stags now had 12 months' grazing rights on Hardy-Dillon's father's farm to compensate for the value of the lost stags.

Judge Farish convicted Hardy-Dillon and sentenced him to two months' community detention with a 9pm until 4am curfew.

He was also sentenced to 120 hours of community work.

- The Westport News

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