A Kawhia man acquitted of murder after a violent home invasion has avoided jail after admitting several drug offences.
Orren Scott Williams was last year found not guilty of the murder of Faalili Moleli Fauatea, 23, and wounding with intent to cause three of his accomplices after a two-week-long trial in the High Court at Hamilton.
Williams had argued he'd fired at the group as they were leaving in self defence, to protect his wife and two children who were inside the Harbour Rd house during the early hours of June 6 last year.
The Crown submitted his offending was intentional and that he was trying to defend the pounds of cannabis he had inside.
Throughout his trial, Williams had admitted growing, possessing and selling pounds of cannabis.
However, he denied that he went after the offenders to protect it. He instead told the jury he panicked and was fearful that the balaclava-clad group, two of whom were armed, would return.
Williams admitted charges of possessing cannabis for supply, offering to sell cannabis and possession of methamphetamine in the High Court at Hamilton in November last year.
He appeared before Justice Pheroze Jagose in the high court this morning, where he was sentenced to 11 months and two weeks' home detention.
Williams' counsel Philip Morgan QC had pushed for a sentence of community detention coupled with community work so that he could continue to work on his Hauturu farm as well as his father-in-law's farm, about 10 minutes' drive away.
He said while he was found in possession of a small amount of methamphetamine, it wasn't his, instead he was holding it to ensure he got paid for an earlier cannabis sale.
Williams, supported in court by family including his wife, Taryn, had also acted more as a middle man in regards to the sale of cannabis, Morgan said, and said home detention would be "hard going" as he would be "stuck in a house on a hill in a remote location and he just can't do a thing".
However, Crown prosecutor Jacinda Hamilton said that scenario didn't quite add up with the evidence - text messages - in which one case stated Williams told a supplier it had been "hard going" trying to sell it given the large amount of cannabis around at that time.
She said the offending was not isolated or impulsive and Williams had supplied cannabis on more than one occasion and had an established customer base.
Justice Jagose said a sentence of community detention only allowed a maximum of six months and community work was 400 hours - which was not a strong enough deterrent to himself and others from similar offending.