An Auckland father who killed his 2-year-old daughter when he pointed a gun at her and pulled the trigger at point blank range has consented to remaining in prison, rather than seek parole.

Gustav Otto Sanft, 27, was sentenced in September 2017 after a jury found him guilty of manslaughter at the end of an emotionally draining trial earlier that year.

He had earlier pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a pistol, a sawn-off shotgun,

Justice Geoffrey Venning imprisoned him for four years and four months.

Advertisement

Sanft was also sentenced for cannabis supply last year, with the judge ruling the gun was being used for protection while peddling drugs.

His daughter, Amokura Daniels-Sanft, died after she was shot in the head on June 2, 2016.

The horrific and traumatic incident occurred while the family were moving from their South Auckland home on Favona Rd to begin a new life in West Auckland.

Amokura, who was playing on a couch, was shot just above her left eye at close range, causing her skull to fracture as she suffered a significant and unsurvivable head wound.

Sanft was toying with the modified shotgun when it fired.

Amokura Daniels-Sanft, 2, died after her father pointed a gun at her and pulled the trigger. Photo / Supplied
Amokura Daniels-Sanft, 2, died after her father pointed a gun at her and pulled the trigger. Photo / Supplied

He appeared before the Parole Board for the first time on February 1, with the board's decision released publicly today.

It said Sanft has "done very well in prison" and was recently reduced to a minimum security classification.

"His conduct has been positive. He is a cleaner. He has completed the Brainwave programme, the alcohol and other drug programme level 2 and 3, and the Medium Intensity Rehabilitation Programme [MIRP]," the decision read.

Advertisement

Sanft is also now on a waiting list for a drug treatment programme.

His counsel, Phil Hamlin, said this would take some time and did not seek parole at the hearing.

The Parole Board agreed, but believed Sanft was a good candidate for reintegration before being released back into the community safely.

"He remains in the meantime an undue risk ... If all of the programmes have been completed, and he has done some reintegration then, of course, he can always apply ... for an earlier hearing," the decision reads.

The modified weapon which Gustav Sanft was toying with. Photo / NZ Herald
The modified weapon which Gustav Sanft was toying with. Photo / NZ Herald

Sanft, who has several previous convictions mostly for disobedience of court orders, will be seen by the Parole Board again in April next year.

At his sentencing he continued to maintain he didn't know the gun was loaded and that it "just exploded".

Despite the gun being modified and faulty, however, firearms experts found it would not fire on its own and the trigger needed to be pulled, the trial heard.

"The shotgun did not just explode, you pulled the trigger," Justice Venning said.

The judge said he had "real reservations" as to whether Sanft had shown true remorse or just "self-pity".

Amokura's mum Julia Daniels told the court of how her daughter's life was "cut short at the hands of her daddy" on "an unforgettable day".

She called it a "stupid reckless accident" which had torn apart her family, but said her partner belonged at home and "not locked behind bars".

"I know this is a painful situation for Gustav and me," she said. "Gustav has to live with his guilt for the rest of his life."