Man who shot at family is jailed

By Court Reporter

A 21-year-old man who fired a shotgun at a Wanganui family has been sent to prison.

In the early hours of March 22 last year, Dolphy Tetawhero Kohu was seen in the backyard of an address in Aramoho.

Later that day, Kohu was walking past the Hylton St property when he was approached by the occupant's son-in-law and accused of being a prowler.

Things got heated and he told the son-in-law, whom several other family members had gathered around: "You've got backup, I'm going to get backup."

Kohu returned about half an hour later with a shotgun. He aimed it at the group outside the house and fired it twice.

One victim had shotgun pellets embedded in his skin; his wounds were later examined at Wanganui Hospital. Pellets also hit two others, although their clothing deflected the pellets. Kohu fired a final shot skyward and left, evading the police for about six weeks.

He was eventually arrested in Wellington on May 4.

The Wanganui District Court heard Kohu was on parole when the offending took place, having been imprisoned for three years in 2008 for the aggravated robbery of a Wanganui dairy.

He had since sought counselling and was living in Wellington among relatives and removed from the bad influences he faced in Wanganui.

Judge David Cameron, however, said brandishing and discharging a firearm in a public place needed to be met by a stern response from the courts, "even more so when it's pointed directly at people".

For unlawful possession of a firearm and two counts of discharging a firearm with reckless disregard, Kohu was sentenced yesterday to two years and six months in prison.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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