A police officer who had a gun waved at him during a dramatic manhunt has said there was some good in the offender, and he would shake his hand if they met on the street.
The man who pointed the gun, William Robert Hartley, 29, of Otaki, would return the handshake.
At a jury trial, Hartley was found guilty on two charges of using a firearm against a police officer.
In the High Court at Palmerston North yesterday, he was sentenced to four years' jail.
Justice David Collins read out a victim impact statement from one of the police officers.
''While attending the trial I was impressed by the amount of support Hartley had from his family,'' the officer said.
''This to me suggests there must be some good in Hartley because he had come from a good family.''
The officer said he hoped Hartley could get some help to sort his problems and said he would shake his hand if he met him in different circumstances.
Outside court, defence lawyer Michael Bott said his client would return the gesture, given the chance.
Hartley, who had 35 previous convictions, assaulted his partner in Levin on February 14 last year.
At 1am, 10 days later, police went to an Otaki house to speak to him, but Hartley barricaded himself into a bedroom after seeing them arrive.
When two police officers broke into the room, Hartley pointed a loaded .44 rifle at them.
''You presented the rifle in a manner that indicated you might shoot,'' Justice Collins said.
Instead, one of the police officers shot Hartley twice in the hand and forearm.
''When spoken to by police you claimed you were just picking up the firearm and moving it out of the way.''
Hartley apologised to police straight after and was genuinely remorseful, the judge said.
Mr Bott described Hartley as the ''black sheep'' of his family and the judge said he had a lengthy employment history in the engineering and meatworks fields.
His latest work as a tattooist would end as he was about to have a finger amputated as a result of being shot.
''The constant pain he suffers is a reminder of the folly of his actions,'' Mr Bott said.
Justice Collins said he would send a copy of his sentencing notes to the Police Commissioner to make sure the officers involved ''get the recognition they deserve''.
The officer in charge of the case, Detective Steve Yates, said the officers' quick work defused a potentially serious situation.
''It's hugely gratifying that no-one was more seriously hurt,'' he said.
Mr Bott told the Manawatu Standard that Hartley hoped to one day make a positive contribution to society.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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