A Christchurch eye surgeon burst into his former landlord’s home as he sat at the dinner table with his wife before firing a shot at his head which only narrowly missed.
Dr Ian William Dallison, 65, was arrested following reports of an assault at a home on St Davids St, Lyttelton, at 7.45pm on August 4.
On Monday he pleaded guilty in the High Court at Christchurch before Justice Andru Isac to attempting to murder his former landlord as well as one charge of wounding with intent to injure the former landlord’s wife. He will be sentenced on April 28.
With his guilty pleas the Herald can report the terrifying details of what took place according to the summary of facts.
On August 3, Dallison used his laptop to access Google maps and researched his former landlord, Alberto Ceccarelli’s home. That evening his cellphone polled in the suburb where they lived, indicating he was scoping their address.
The following day Dallison was adjudicated bankrupt on an application by Ceccarelli, 75, and Adam Armstrong who owned a commercial building that Dallison previously leased. The order related to $247,000, most of which was rent owed to the pair.
Later that day, about 6.45pm, Dallison drove his red Porsche from his home on Helmores Lane, Fendalton, to Lyttelton.
Inside his car, he had nine firearms and 167 rounds of ammunition. The guns included a loaded Ruger semi-automatic pistol, a loaded Smith & Wesson revolver, a Sterling Model 300 handgun, an Accelerator Model handgun, a Ruger Revolver, and a double-barrelled derringer handgun.
He also had a Maglite torch gun loaded with a 410-shotgun round plus two rounds in his jacket pocket, two Mag pen guns, one with a silencer, and three Ruger 10/22 magazines.
The Herald understands Dallison had about 200 guns in his home, including one believed to be worth several hundred thousand dollars.
On his way to Lyttelton Dallison stopped to fill $40 in his Porsche and then stopped a second time to purchase batteries for the Maglite torch gun.
Dallison parked his car around the corner from Ceccarelli’s home, where he lived with his wife.
He inserted the two batteries into the Maglite torch shotgun. The torch was either already loaded with one shotgun round or it was loaded at that time. Inserting the two batteries enabled it to be used as both a torch and a shotgun. The remaining two rounds were put into his jacket pocket.
He armed himself with the loaded Ruger .22 calibre semi-automatic pistol, a spare magazine with 10 rounds in his pocket and walked to their home.
He entered the house about 7.38pm and walked through the lounge to the entrance of the kitchen, where the couple were sitting at their dinner table.
Before they realised he was present he fired the gun at Ceccarelli. The round narrowly missed his head, lodging itself in the door frame over his right shoulder.
Ceccarelli and his wife got up and rushed him. A violent struggle ensued as they attempted to remove the pistol from his grip.
Dallison and the couple fell to the ground and continued to wrestle in the lounge, moving across the floor.
Dallison used his finger to gouge Ceccarelli’s right eye.
As Ceccarelli’s wife attempted to stand up, Dallison pinned her on the ground with the weight of his body and struck her on the back of her head four or five times using the butt of the pistol, concussing her.
Neighbours heard screaming and entered the home, restraining Dallison.
Dallison was restrained on the ground until police arrived.
The couple suffered serious injuries. Ceccarelli’s wife suffered a concussion and dizziness which affected her for several days. There was significant bleeding from her head injuries, and the wounds caused her agony when attempting to lay her head down to sleep.
As a result of having his eye gouged, Ceccarelli suffered significant damage to his vision and is being treated by a neuro-ophthalmologist.
The trauma to his eye resulted in eye misalignment, causing it to deviate outward as well as an inability to move his eye down and in toward the nose. The injury results in double vision and difficulties with depth perception, affecting his ability to work, read, type and exercise. It was unknown if the damage was permanent.
Ceccarelli also received bruising and scratches to the left side of his neck, a cut to the base of his right thumb and a cut lip.
Dallison’s bankruptcy matter was dealt with at an earlier hearing in the High Court before Associate Judge Dale Lester.
Judge Lester granted Dallison’s application for an annulment of his bankruptcy.
The creditors had been paid in full, and Dallison’s home on Helmores Lane, Fendalton, was to be sold.