A Taranaki man was sentenced to 60 hours community work today for recklessly discharging a firearm in the vicinity of a vehicle occupied by members of All Black Beauden Barrett's family last year.
Eugene Loui Nuku, 46, of Pungarehu represented himself in Hawera District Court and appeared before Judge Chris Sygrove wearing a Wellington Lions rugby jersey.
Nuku claims he shot at the vehicle, occupied by Barrett's father Kevin and younger brother Blake, after he saw them cutting down a pine tree near his property.
"I didn't shoot at them, I aimed at the vehicle to mark it so everyone in the district would know they did this."
Judge Sygrove told the defendant he accepted he didn't fire directly at the occupants of the vehicle. Police sought an order for the destruction of the rifle used which the judge granted.
Nuku asked if the laser scope attached to the rifle could be returned. While police opposed this on the grounds it was part of the weapon used, Judge Sygrove ordered the scope be returned to Mr Nuku.
"I will only use it to see possum eyes from now on," Nuku told the court.