AOS called out over slug gun
A slug-gun-brandishing Palmerston North man who took pot shots at a power pole and sparked an armed offenders squad callout has been told it could have ended worse.
Unemployed Palmerston North man Clay Williams, 24, appeared in Palmerston North District Court yesterday after he took shots at a power pole with an airgun and threw stones that brought a street lamp crashing down in Bunnythorpe on August 26.
Williams pleaded guilty to two charges – discharging an airgun near a public place and intentional damage.
Judge Gerard Lynch scolded him for his reckless handling of the weapon.
‘‘While I appreciate you weren’t aiming at the light, it was a security issue for members of the public.
‘‘An armed offenders squad was called, and there could have been no criticism of the police for responding that way. That might not have ended well for you,’’ he said.
Williams had fired four pellets at the possum guard on the pole early on a Sunday evening and aimed a further 20 blank rounds down the street, before pelting stones at the guard, police said.
One of the stones he threw hit the pole’s light cover which fell off, causing it to smash to the ground.
Concerned neighbours who heard the airgun’s shots called the police.
After police arrived at the Raymond St address where Williams had been firing the weapon, officers cordoned off the area and called in the armed offenders squad, which ordered the occupants of the house out.
Detective Sergeant Tim Moffatt said police detained two carloads of people who tried to leave the address. Williams was arrested and the slug gun confiscated.
Defence lawyer Hugh O’Connell said his client hadn’t intended to cause any damage.
‘‘He has had a big think about what he’s done and understands the stupidity of his actions.’’
Police urged people to remember the power of airguns as they could kill, and said reports of any shots fired were always treated seriously.
Police sought $99.19 in payment for repairs and Williams was sentenced to 60 hours’ community work.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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