Hunter who shot teacher walks free

By NZ Herald staff, APNZ

Andrew Mears was sentenced earlier this year \ to two and a half years in prison for the manslaughter of Rosemary Ives, after accidentally shooting her at a DoC camping ground in 2010. Photo / Christine Cornege
Andrew Mears was sentenced earlier this year \ to two and a half years in prison for the manslaughter of Rosemary Ives, after accidentally shooting her at a DoC camping ground in 2010. Photo / Christine Cornege

The man who shot and killed a woman camper who he believed was a deer has been released from prison after serving less than half his sentence.

Andrew Mears, now 26, was jailed for 2 years for the manslaughter of Rosemary Ives, but was released this morning on parole after serving 11 months, a Department of Corrections spokesman confirmed.

Mears was hunting illegally at a DOC campsite near Turangi in October 2010 when he mistook Ms Ives' headlamp for the eyes of a deer and fatally shot her.

The Parole Board says he has strong family support, employment prospects, and does not pose a risk to the community. He is still grief-stricken by the shooting.

Rosemary's mother, Margaret McFarlane, told Radio New Zealand last month, that Mears should serve his full sentence.

Her father Malcolm Ives told the NZ Herald in December he was sorry the man would not be released from jail before Christmas.

"I wouldn't say I'm forgiving but I don't see any point in keeping him in jail any longer. It's more important he gets back with his family and gets a job.

"I would like to think I think rationally about things.

"In a case like this you have to try and keep emotive responses out of it,'' he said.

Mears was sent to prison after pleading guilty to manslaughter.

Parole Board documents said he was classified as posing no risk to the community.

As part of his parole conditions he has been ordered to undertake grief counselling and not to move addresses, change jobs or stay away from his home overnight unless he has told his probation officer first, until August 2013.

He is also forbidden to contact Miss Ives' family without the probation officer's permission.

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