A teenager has been sentenced to six months' community detention, a curfew and supervision for possessing a firearm following an incident in which the man she was with shot a Wellington taxi driver.
Paris Te Aroha Ohuka, 18, earlier pleaded guilty to one charge of unlawful possession of a firearm, relating to the violent incident which happened in Miramar last November.
Her co-offender, Dylan Nuku, was sentenced to seven years in prison earlier this year for wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and unlawfully possessing a firearm.
Ohuka, who is now pregnant, cried in the dock in the High Court at Wellington this morning as her lawyer argued for her to have an electronically monitored community-based sentence.
Ohuka and Nuku got into a taxi in Wellington's entertainment precinct on the night of November 18 last year and had the driver, Alem Tessema, drive to Miramar.
The pair put on sunglasses and repeatedly asked Tessema to drive to certain streets, and upon arriving at that street asked him to drive to different ones, Justice Susan Thomas said.
When they finally gave him an address to stop at, Ohuka handed him a Prezzy card for payment. Nuku pulled a pistol from Ohuka's handbag, got out, and stood next to Tessema's open window.
When Tessema said the Prezzy card could not be used as payment, Nuku pointed the gun at him and demanded he get out of the car.
Tessema refused to get out of the car, and Nuku then shot him in the shoulder.
Tessema fled the scene in his taxi to find medical help.
He told the Herald he was lucky he didn't get shot in the head.
"He tell me, 'get off the car, get off the car', and then same times he shoot me in here. I just drive out because that's only option for me to survive ... if I didn't do that I would be dying," Tessema said after the incident.
Justice Thomas today said Tessema had suffered psychologically since the shooting and felt the need to disguise himself when he left the house.
She said Ohuka had no prior convictions before the offending.
When spoken to by police, Ohuka initially said she didn't know the gun was in her handbag, but she later admitted she knew it was there, but that Nuku had put it there.
"You concede you weren't a passive or innocent party to the offending," Justice Thomas said.
"The potential for injury and indeed fatality from possession of a firearm is self evident. The victim was vulnerable as a taxi driver, alone in a vehicle with you and Mr Nuku."
She said while Ohuka might not have known Nuku was going to use the firearm, her actions - including donning the sunglasses and directing the driver to a number of different addresses - meant it could "reasonably be said that your motivation that night wasn't entirely innocent".
Justice Thomas said today was the first time she had seen Ohuka express "any real emotion".
"It may be actually that you just need to grow up a bit."
Justice Thomas sentenced Ohuka to six months of community detention with a 7pm-7am curfew, 12 months intensive supervision, and ordered her to undergo judicial monitoring - meaning Ohuka must appear before Justice Thomas every two months for a year to see how her sentence is going.
"I really think you're at a turning point in your life. [You've] got someone else to think about now I really hope you take the opportunity, and you should treat this sentence as an opportunity, to actually make some positive changes."