I was about 10 years old when my brother shot me in the knee.

The .22 calibre bullet ripped a small hole in my corduroy trousers and lodged above the left leg kneecap.

I remember the shot ringing in my ears and mum's distressed face as she ran from the house to assess her sons' damage.

I should hasten to add it was an accident.


Read more:
Cup of tea ends in death of Danny Jordan
Hastings hunter admits fatally shooting soldier

My would-be assassin sibling and I are both lucky that we can joke about the incident 30 years on.

Gary McCurrach wasn't as lucky. Neither was his young victim.

The 58-year-old Hastings hunter yesterday admitted a charge of carelessly using a rifle causing the death of Danny Jordan.

Unfortunately for the young soldier, the calibre used in the Ruahine Range tragedy wasn't a .22 - nor was he shot in the knee.

The .308 bullet struck him in the neck, killing him instantly.

I should hasten to add it was an accident.

But that's about as charitable as I'm prepared to be. How many people in this country are killed for the sake of venison? It's a rhetorical question, by the way.

Any right-minded individual would struggle to see how this came to pass.

The summary of facts in this case, as read, is farcical. McCurrach was preparing a cup of tea when he believed what he was looking at was a deer, closed the rifle's bolt and fired. The mechanics of that thought process beggars belief.

My sympathy for his calamitous life sentence is tempered by the vacuous decision to pull the trigger.