Guilty plea after drunken gun incident

By Staff Reporter editorial@age.co.nz -
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Blair Ireland, 54, pleaded guilty to reckless discharge of a firearm, discharging a firearm near a house, drunk in charge of a firearm, and possessing a firearm without a licence. PHOTO/FILE
Blair Ireland, 54, pleaded guilty to reckless discharge of a firearm, discharging a firearm near a house, drunk in charge of a firearm, and possessing a firearm without a licence. PHOTO/FILE

A Carterton man pleaded guilty to firearms charges yesterday in relation to an armed offenders callout on February 24.

Blair Ireland, 54, pleaded guilty to reckless discharge of a firearm, discharging a firearm near a house, being drunk in charge of a firearm, and possessing a firearm -- a Magnum .44 rifle -- without a licence.

Police withdrew two further charges of presenting a firearm to two different people.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Tom Andrews said Ireland had phoned a family member at 7.45pm on Monday, February 24, and his speech was slurred.

He told the family member he was drunk and was going to take his own life, saying "I'm going to get my gun and kill myself".

Mr Andrews said Ireland regularly used to go pig hunting with his .44 rifle, though he had no firearms licence "and was not likely to be granted one had he applied".

Some time after the phone call Ireland walked outside and fired the rifle into the air "with no thought of where the round may land".

He lives within the residential boundary of Carterton, with houses on either side, one nearby and the other with a narrow stretch of land between.

When spoken to by police, Ireland admitted owning the rifle and told them where to find it and the ammunition. There were seven live rounds in the weapon.

Ireland was remanded on bail until May 19 at 2.15pm, for sentence.

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